For Australians Searching for an Alternative to the Competitive H-1B Visa, the E-3 Specialty Occupation Visa May Be the Answer

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

E-3 visas were created for nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia for temporary employment in specialty occupations.

AustraliaFor citizens of Australia, E-3 visa is an alternative to the competitive H-1B visa.  This specialty occupation visa, which was created by law by President Bush in 2005 in Section 501 of the REAL ID Act, is solely for for nationals of the Commonwealth of Australia.  Eligibility for the E-3 visa requires (1) theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields, and (2) at least the attainment of a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Unlike the H-1B, which is only available for three years, with an optional three year renewal, the E-3 visa is available for up to two years per extension, and has no maximum number of extensions (with some exceptions).  It can therefore be renewed indefinitely as long as the visa holder continues to meet the visa requirements. Continue reading

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Starting or Growing Your Business in California? Check out these state and local tax incentives

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Los Angeles (c) Jennifer Grady

For the entrepreneur beginning the process of establishing a Startup, one of the primary considerations is its location. It is crucial to evaluate the location, incentives available to the company, and the resources available when planning for the future success of the company.

The State of California, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles County have a variety of incentive programs available to both small and large businesses. While incentives should not be the only reason why one should consider a location, incentives may be one of many factors that could help lead to a final location decision.

Incentive programs typically fall into two categories: legislated and discretionary. State and federal legislated incentives are “on the books” and available to any business that meets stated criteria. Discretionary incentives are customized and provided by certain cities and only for specific projects on a case-by-case basis. In almost every case, discretionary incentives come into play when a community is trying to attract a large business operation that brings significant investment into that community and will have a substantial impact on jobs created.

The Los Angeles County 2015/2016 Business Incentives and Resources Guide describes the federal, state and local business incentives; employee training; business assistance; financial assistance; and additional “green” resources that can help you locate to L.A. County and/or grow your business here. Read below for a sampling of the state level and local tax incentives for 2016.

To learn more about the pros and cons of moving your Startup to Silicon Valley, read this article.

Continue reading

The Grady Firm Joins the Roster for LA Innovation Week as Presenter on Startup Legal Issues & Solutions #LAIW2015

Los Angeles Innovation Week 2015 Launches With More Than 100 Events, Exhibiting LA’s Global Leadership in Innovation

LAIW#The Grady Firm, PC has been selected as a presenter at Los Angeles Innovation Week, a countywide celebration of the breadth of innovation and creativity within Los Angeles sponsored by LA Metro, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and the Los Angeles Times. From clean tech, to gaming, to aerospace, digital media, and beyond, Los Angeles is a leading global center for innovation and entrepreneurship rooted in boundless creativity and diversity.  Other hosts of Innovation Week events include Cross Campus, Microsoft, WeWork, Apple, ExpertDojo, and YouTube Space LA.

On Tuesday, October 20, Jennifer Grady will be addressing entrepreneurs with ways to protect their innovative small businesses thorough The Top 10 Tools Business Owners Need to Know From a Business and Employment Law Attorney.”  The presentation will take place from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at The Grady Firm headquarters in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Continue reading

Startup Genome Report Reveals Top 20 Startup Ecosystems in the World- Los Angeles and Silicon Valley Retain Top Spots

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

TodWorld webay, Compass revealed the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking.  With this report, Compass hopes to “accelerate the development of startup ecosystems around the world by answering critical questions for entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers that are difficult to answer without the data [it has] gathered and analyzed in this report, as well as to raise the general populace’s awareness of the increasing socioeconomic importance of startup ecosystems.” The index is produced by ranking ecosystems along five major components: Performance, Funding, Talent, Market Reach, and Startup Experience. Continue reading

Changes to California Paid Sick Leave Requirements on July 13, 2015

sick leaveBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

The new Paid Sick Leave law that went into effect in California on July 1, 2015 was already amended less than two weeks after it took effect on July 1, 2105. This means that employers may have to revisit, and most likely update their paid leave policies and Employee Handbooks.

An employer must individually notify all employees hired prior to January 1, 2015 of changes to terms and conditions of employment that relate to paid sick leave within 7 days of the actual change. Information concerning any new or previously existing paid sick leave program that includes information required to be given to each employee by Labor Code section 2810.5(a), must be provided to all employees. A revised DLSE notice form may be used for providing individual notice to these existing employees unless the employer chooses an authorized alternative method. Continue reading

July Ushers in New Paid Sick Leave Requirements for California Employers

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

sick leaveOn July 1, 2015, a new law affecting millions of Californians went into effect requiring that employers – both public and private – provide paid sick leave to all their employees. Under the new law, employers will have to modify or update existing paid sick leave or time off policies, as well as payroll, recordkeeping, and employee notice procedures.

The “Healthy, Workplace, Healthy Families Act” (AB-1522) signed into effect by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. applies to all employees who work in California for thirty (30) or more days in a year. The law defines “employer” as any person employing another under any appointment or contract of hire” regardless of how many (or few) employees they have, and covers employees whether they are full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary. Specifically, the new provision provides that employees who work thirty (30) or more days within a year from commencement of their employment will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.

Employees become entitled to their sick leave beginning on the ninetieth (90th) date of employment. However, an employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours—or three (3) days—in each year of employment, which results in no carryover requirements. Click HERE for the full text of the new law. Continue reading

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Changes for “Outdoor Places of Employment” in Effect May 1, 2015

waterBy Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Employers with potential heat-related exposures are reminded that Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standards were changed effective May 1, 2015. California employers at “all outdoor places of employment” are required to take steps to prevent heat illness in relation to training, water, shade, and planning in their business practices. There are additional requirements for certain industries during periods of high heat (over 95°F or above). Continue reading

SEC Rules Everyday Citizens (Non-Accredited Investors) Can Now Participate in Equity Crowdfunding & Invest in Startups

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

CrowfundingFinally, after three years the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that investments in businesses with less than $50 million no longer require that an investor be an “accredited investor.”  This means that everyday citizens can now invest in Startups and small businesses as an investor on Crowdfunding platforms.  The long-awaited decision to democratize small business and Startup funding comes from Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, and will done initially through what are called Regulation A+ investment offerings. Continue reading

Looking for Path to a Green Card? Try the EB-5 Investor Visa

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

For foreign investors wishing to obtain a visa to live, work, and attend university in the United States with in-state tuition rates, there are two options available through the E-2 and EB-5 investor visa programs.  The E-2 Visa requires less startup capital and is the fastest way to obtain a visa, although it is not a path to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card).  The EB-5 Visa requires an initial investment of USD $500,000 to $1 million, and comes with Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card), and ultimately, US citizenship.  This article will discuss the EB-5 “million dollar visa” option.  What may be surprising is that an investor can be eligible for this visa with only a $500,000 investment in a rural or targeted employment area. Continue reading

The E-2 “Entrepreneur Investor” Visa Provides a Path for Small Business Owners to Live and Work in the US

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

Dolla billFor foreign investors wishing to obtain a visa to live and work legally in the United States, there are two options available through the E-2 and EB-5 investor visa programs.  The E-2 Visa requires less startup capital (around $100,000), and is the fastest way to obtain a visa, although it is not a path to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card).  The EB-5 Visa requires an initial investment of USD $500,000 to $1 million, and comes with Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card), and ultimately, US citizenship.  This article will discuss the details of the E-2 “Entrepreneur Investor Visa.”                     Continue reading

Changes to California Employment Laws in 2015 that Every Employer Should Know

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

California-State-Capitol1The California Legislature was quite active in 2014, resulting in several substantial changes to the law for 2015 that are employee-friendly.  Employers should take note of the changes to the law described below.

I. CHANGES TO WAGE AND LABOR LAWS

1. Minimum Wage Increases

The minimum wage increased statewide, with even higher increases in particular cities:

  • California’s minimum wage of $9.00 will increase again to $10.00 on January 1, 2016;
  • San Francisco wages will increase to $11.05 on January 1, 2015; then to $12.25 in May; wages will increase every year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 in 2018;
  • Oakland will increase to $12.25 on March 2, 2015;
  • San Diego will increase to $9.75 on January 1, 2015;
  • Note: exempt employees must meet new minimum wage laws

Continue reading

The Grady Firm Now Offers Customized Record-Keeping Forms for Employers

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

personnel files pic

California enacted numerous new laws in 2014 that continue to make it more challenging for employers to comply with California employment law.

To take out some of the guesswork that employers and Human Resources managers face as they try to run their businesses, The Grady Firm, P.C. has created a package of over fifteen (15) customized forms and checklists to ensure that employers are properly documenting their procedures before hiring, at the time of hire, during employment, and at termination. Continue reading

Start Preparing Your H-1B Application Now to Be the First to File on April 1, 2015

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

ImageOn April 1, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B specialty occupation visas.  Approved applications will allow a foreign national to commence employment in the new fiscal new year, which starts on October 1, 2015.  USCIS limits the number of petitions it will accept to 65,000, and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of petitions submitted to USCIS.  Last year, on April 7, 2014, USCIS announced that it reached the statutory cap of 65,000 within the first week of the acceptance period. This year, the cap will likely be reached within the first few days of the April 1 opening.

For those wishing to file an H-1B petition, it is strongly advised that the application materials be received by USCIS exactly on April 1, 2014 to ensure that an application falls within the 65,000 cap. Note that petitions received before April 1, or after April 5, will most likely be rejected by USCIS. Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Expands to San Francisco and San Diego, California

The San Francisco Office is conveniently located at 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA  94104

The San Francisco Office is conveniently located at 555 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

The Grady Firm, P.C. is pleased to announce that it has opened offices in San Francisco and San Diego, California to better serve the needs of its clientele throughout the state. These offices are exciting additions to the current Los Angeles headquarters in the Miracle Mile/Museum District of Los Angeles, which is located across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles.

At the San Francisco location, The Grady Firm, P.C. offers Startup/business advising, employment law, criminal law, family law, immigration, and Intellectual Property services.

The San Francisco office building is centrally located in the downtown Financial District on 555 California Street.  As the fifth tallest building on the west coast of the United States, it is a monument to San Francisco’s bold natural landscape and one of the most recognized buildings in the country.  Also known as the “Triple 5,” the building has starred in several classic movies, including Dirty Harry (1971), The Towering Inferno (1974), and in the Chuck Norris film, An Eye for an Eye (1981).  The building has easy access to public transportation, including BART and the Muni Metro.

The San Diego office is located at 964 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

The Granger Building at 964 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

At the San Diego location, The Grady Firm, P.C. offers services in immigration law, business law, and employment law.  The San Diego office is located in the Romanesque-style, turn of the century Granger Building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the gateway to the world-famous Gaslamp Quarter and Core/Civic District.  Throughout its hundred year history, the Granger building served San Diego as a bank, office space, and even hosted animals for the San Diego Zoo.  The building is close to public transportation.

The Grady Firm, P.C.’s Los Angeles Headquarters at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, 26th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

At the Los Angeles, California headquarters, The Grady Firm, P.C. continues to offer services in Startup/business advising, employment advising, business litigation, employment litigation, immigration, estate planning, and Intellectual Property.

The Grady Firm attorneys are able to serve clients throughout California and the globe through in-person meetings, phone calls, and Skype calls.   To best serve its international clientele, The Grady Firm attorneys are fluent in Spanish, Chinese, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Armenian, Swedish, Hungarian, Korean, and Russian.

Schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation today with The Grady Firm attorneys by calling (323) 450-9010, or submitting a contact request form.

 

Should Your New Business Select an LLC, S-Corp, or Both?

Business owners–and even attorneys and accountants–can get twisted up in the debate over which is best, the LLC or the S corporation.  But it’s not necessarily an either/or proposition.  Rather, you can set up an LLC first, and later elect to have the LLC treated as an S corporation.  If your LLC operates an active trade or business, and payroll taxes (SECA taxes) on the owner or owners are high, you may find that an S corporation election is the best choice.

Both organizational forms share the characteristic of “passing-through” their income to the owner(s).  Both also provide their owner(s) limited liability protection.  But each has some distinguishing features, too. You, as a new business owner, will want to consider the differences as you choose the form for your enterprise.

Read the full article: http://bit.ly/NaHUnO