Who is Your Corporate Secretary? Are They Doing Their Job?

For a public company, the answer is clear.   The Corporate Secretary may or may not be part of the senior management team, but they have a key role in the organization.  The directors know them, and they attend every board meeting.  They are a key source of institutional knowledge about the company, and maintaining an…

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ERM for SMBs

Sorry to be heavy on acronyms, but the “ERM” abbreviation for Enterprise Risk Management has a firm place in the management practices of larger business organizations.  There may be some variation in specific objectives across ERM programs, or in the key process steps of the program, but all ERM frameworks involve identifying and naming risks…

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Recognizing Trademark Scams

If you are the listed owner or legal contact of a trademark application or registration, chances are you’ve received unsolicited correspondence about your trademark.  These communications may offer to assist with an upcoming filing deadline, propose to include your mark on a registry, or ask you to wire money to maintain your trademark. Most of…

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Using a Power of Attorney as a Business Succession Planning Tool

As part of an estate planning process, it is common for the owner of a closely-held business to execute a general durable Power of Attorney appointing an agent, also called an attorney-in-fact, to manage his or her financial affairs and other matters if he or she becomes unavailable or incapacitated.  Typically, the powers given an…

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Board Agenda Topic: 401(k) Plan Status Report

When was the last time your 401(k) plan structure and compliance procedures were discussed at a Board meeting?  If you cannot remember the last time, or if you cannot remember the details of what was reviewed, then the topic belongs on an upcoming Board meeting agenda. While day-to-day administration of the plan would fall to…

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Battle of the Forms: Will your “standard” terms survive?

If your business is buying or selling commercial goods with standard terms of purchase or sale, you may have heard about the “battle of the forms.”  The battle is usually between the buyer’s purchase order terms and the seller’s order acknowledgment or invoice terms.  Almost without exception these terms don’t match one another.  When that…

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What Are You Doing About Overtime?

You probably know that the new salary threshold for the “white collar” exemption to overtime eligibility is going up (to $47,476) in a few months. But here is why just paying more than $47,476 per year may not solve your overtime issues: Exempt employees must be paid on a true salary basis – meaning their…

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