So You Just Started Your Own Business – Now What?

In Business Law by Coolidge Wall

The opportunities and advantages associated with being your own boss and operating your own business are endless. However, with great opportunity comes great risk. Although getting out of the red and into the black is understandably your top priority, equally as important is avoiding legal pitfalls that can compromise your business assets, and possibly your personal ones. Below is a non-inclusive list of some legal considerations small business owners should be aware of. Corporate Form In Ohio, doing business under another name does not create an entity distinct from the person operating the business. The individual who does business as …

Putting the Money Where Its Mouth Is: DOL Funds 19 States’ Independent Contractor Misclassification Crackdown

In Business Law, General by Coolidge Wall

On September 15, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its award of $10.2 million in grants to 19 states to aid in their worker misclassification detection and enforcement efforts in unemployment insurance programs. Ohio is not a grant recipient, but our next door neighbor, Indiana, is receiving a hefty sum of $500,000. The money is meant to help state unemployment agencies discover situations where employers are misclassifying employees as independent contractors, which typically means the employer is not reporting the individual’s compensation to the agency. The states chosen to receive the grants will use them to improve audit and education …

Another Billion Dollar Rebate!

In Business Law, Employment Law, General by Coolidge Wall

State fund employers in Ohio will be pleased to know that the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is again preparing a $1 billion rebate of premiums to them. Based upon payments made in 2012, state fund employers will qualify for another rebate of premiums. It is important to note, though, that you must be up to date in premium payments in order to qualify for the rebate. The BWC Board of Directors is expected to approve this proposal during the week of September 22 with rebate checks being issued in October. If you have questions, please contact  David Korte at 937-223-8177 …

Recent Ruling May Allow for Unionization Among NCAA Athletes

In Business Law, Employment Law by Coolidge Wall

The board of directors of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has granted the largest college athletic programs in the country with partial autonomy. The move, approved by the board in a 16-2 vote, could allow members of the NCAA’s five wealthiest conferences to provide benefits to student-athletes beyond scholarships and increased health care coverage. This measure comes in the midst of controversy regarding the NCAA and whether or not athletes should be entitled to compensation for the millions of dollars in revenue they help generate for their schools. Earlier this year, football players at Northwestern University in Illinois attempted …

If We Only had “WWW.OURNAME.COM”

In Business Law by Coolidge Wall

Internet domain names are a critical aspect of your company’s overall brand identity, image, and marketing portfolio. Your website is a gateway for your customers to learn about your business and contact you in an efficient way. The trading in domain names can be a lucrative business with some domain names trading for $20,000 or more on the secondary market. It is not uncommon for unscrupulous parties to “troll” for potentially desirable unregistered domain names. These parties then register those names with the intention of exploiting those who have a legitimate right to that domain. The legitimacy to a domain …

IRS Announces Restatement Deadline for Retirement Plans

In Business Law, Employee Benefits, General by Coolidge Wall

An employer that has an IRS preapproved retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, profit sharing plan, or money purchase pension plan, is required to restate the plan every six years for changes in the law. The last six year restatement cycle ended April 30, 2010 and the IRS has announced that the second restatement cycle will run through April 30, 2016. Any employer that does not restate a preapproved retirement plan by April 30, 2016 will be subject to a late amender penalty. Generally, an employer is not going to be able to get a determination letter from the …

NLRB Decisions Invalidated by Supreme Court

In Business Law, Employment Law, General by Coolidge Wall

In Noel Canning v. NLRB, the Supreme Court issued a labor law decision most surprising because of its unanimity. The Supreme Court held on June 26, 2014, that President Obama’s controversial January 2012 appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn, and Richard Griffin) were invalid exercises of his office under the Constitution. The NLRB in that case had ruled against an employer in an unfair labor practice charge. The employer appealed, asserting that because three of the nation’s five Board members had been placed on the Board by the President as “recess …

Good News For State-Fund Employers – Prospective Billing Is On The Way!

In Business Law, Employment Law, General by Coolidge Wall

You have likely received word from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of a major change coming in the manner in which it establishes workers’ compensation premiums. In July of 2015, the retrospective billing system for state-fund employers will be a thing of the past, as the Bureau moves to a prospective system. Most importantly, though, be advised that as a result of that transition, and to avoid a situation where employers are paying premiums twice during the overlap, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is actually granting an eight month premium credit for all private state-fund employers in July of …

The Supreme Court Narrows Affordable Care Act Contraception Mandate

In Business Law, Employee Benefits, General, Healthcare Reform by Coolidge Wall

The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover “preventive services” at no cost to participants. The federal government has identified 20 forms of contraception that are required to be included as part of preventive services. Various “for-profit” companies have challenged ACA’s birth control coverage requirement in about 50 lawsuits now pending across the country. Many of these employers are family owned, closely held or controlled companies whose owners object to the provision of contraceptive coverage on faith-based grounds. On June 30th, the last day of its 2013-2014 term, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby …

Ohio Energy Law to Be Signed by Governor Kasich

In Business Law, General by Coolidge Wall

Over the past two years, Ohio’s industries, businesses and lawmakers have fiercely debated whether the state’s utility requirements for renewable energy and energy efficiency have been harmful or beneficial to the state’s economy. Efforts to roll back legislation, thereby dismantling clean energy mandates in the state, appear to have been successful. Governor John Kasich plans on signing the legislation that will freeze Ohio’s renewable energy laws for a minimum of two years. Currently, around 30 states have renewable energy standards. Ohio’s renewable energy law was enacted in 2008 and includes the following provisions: 25 percent of electricity sold by each …