Why Should You Hire a Lawyer Instead of Doing it Yourself?

In the age of the “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) mentality, entrepreneurs who are resourceful and eager to cut costs may attempt to perform legal work themselves by using the Internet as a resource for sample agreements, forms, and answers to their legal questions.  While the Internet is an amazing tool and the great equalizer, it is no substitute for advice from trained legal counsel.  Just as identifying your medical symptoms on sites like WebMD is no substitute for visiting a doctor, using the Internet alone as the source of legal advice can cause more cost and headaches in the long run.  The following examples illustrate some of the downsides to using the Internet instead of a lawyer.

1. DIY Sites Lack Customization

Many entrepreneurs believe that filling out a form on a site like LegalZoom  or Rocketlawyer is all they need to do to start a business.  However, taking this approach will deprive the entrepreneur of crucial legal advice that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars later.

For example, is the owner concerned about personal liability?  How many shareholders will there be? Will it be a closely-held family business, or will there be many investors involved?   How will the profits be distributed?  What steps need to occur before the entity can go public or be sold?  What makes the most sense: an LLC, LLP, general partnership, professional corporation, non-profit, or other entity?  A qualified attorney can help you navigate these issues, and provide you with the advice that a website can’t.

Are you an employer looking to transition your independent contractors to employees? We offer customized forms from the time of hire to termination, and Employee Handbooks that are tailored to your business.

Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Expands to Orange County with Irvine, CA Office

Irvine officeThe Grady Firm, P.C. is pleased to announce the opening of its new office in Irvine, California, to better serve the needs of its clientele in Orange County.  The Grady Firm, P.C. offers services in Business, Immigration, Employment, and Intellectual Property law.  The Irvine location supports the growing economy in technology, life sciences, professional services, and healthcare in Orange County, and is conveniently located with easy access to John Wayne Airport and the 405, 55, and 73 freeways.

The firm’s managing partner, Jennifer Grady, Esq. is a former Irvine resident and graduate of University High School.

See our firm’s Yelp page for reviews of the Irvine office and our Beverly Hills headquarters.

The Irvine Office is located at:

19800 MacArthur Blvd.
Suite 300
Irvine, CA 92612
+1 (949) 354-3201 Continue reading

When and How Must an Employee Be Compensated for Travel Time?

businessman at the airport

There are various factors that influence whether an employee must be compensated for his or her travel time to a new work site, or for off-site employment activity. One of the main factors to consider is whether the employee is actually engaging in travel as part of the employer’s principal activity or, whether the employee is engaging in travel for the convenience of the employer.

At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the primary law governing travel pay. The standard asks whether the employee’s time is spent primarily for the benefit of the employer. It also includes time spent, even if not doing work, but under the control of the employer, such as on-site, on-call time.

Pursuant to California’s Labor Code, the standard comes down to whether the employee is

subject to the control of the employer; the concept of “control” is narrower than federal standard. While the federal and state laws overlap, California’s Labor Code is of course generally more liberal and more protective of employees.

California Law

The definition of hours worked is found in the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, and refers to the time during which the employee is subject to the control travel-timeof an employer, and includes all the time the employee is “suffered or permitted to work,” whether or not required to do so. State law does not distinguish between hours worked during the “normal” working hours, or hours worked outside “normal” working hours, nor does it distinguish between hours worked in connection with an overnight out-of-town assignment. 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

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

Canadian Immigration Policy Turns Against Investor-Based Immigration, Leading to More Opportunities for Foreign Investors in the United States

By Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

 A report in the Hong Kong media led to the downfall of the world’s most popular investor-based visa program in Canada, leaving thousands of foreign investors out in the cold. According to an article published in Forbes magazine on February 13, 2014, the Canadian government announced the immediate cancellation of the popular investor visa program after the highly publicized report stated that “the country’s investor visa program had become an express lane for wealthy Chinese hoping to secure overseas residency”. The cancellation of the program meant that 65,000 pending applications, including 45,500 of which were submitted by individuals from Mainland China, were immediately eliminated.

In a statement made on the evening of February 11, 2014, the Canadian government announced the termination of both the Federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) program. In 2011, approximately 10,000 immigrants entered Canada through the IIP, while almost 1,000 entered through the EN program. 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.

 

Ignite Startup School Will Feature Online Courses in Order to Bring Business Education to Entrepreneurs Around the Country

ImageCatering to the Millennial and Generation X audience interested in entrepreneurship, Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.—Startup attorney, business consultant, and entrepreneur herself—recently launched Ignite Startup School, a unique platform from which she can help business owners achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship. While teaching Members the practical essentials needed to succeed in starting a business, Jennifer empowers other men and women like herself with the tools they need to attain financial freedom, self-sufficiency, and an exclusive network of other like-minded individuals.

By catering to “bootstrapped” founders, Ignite Startup School provides cost-effective educational and legal services for entrepreneurs and business owners by teaching them what they can do themselves, and when to hire an expert. Members of Ignite Startup School gain access to an online and offline community of similarly situated entrepreneurs through online Courses, Members-only Message Boards, and discounts on small business services through Ignite Startup School’s Preferred Partners program. Customized legal services eliminate the need for, and risk incurred by, the “do-it-yourself” mentality.

Online Courses begin on April 23, 2014 and continue on a weekly basis thereafter.

The current schedule is as follows:

Startup School 101: The Practical Aspects of Running a Business, on April 23, 2014 from 12-2 pm;

Startup School 102: The Legal Aspects of Running a Business on May 1, 2014 from 12-2 p.m.;

Startup School 103: What California Employers Need to Know to be Compliant with State and Federal Labor Laws on May 7, 2014 from 12-2 p.m.; and

Startup School 104: Business Succession Planning and Asset Protection on May 14, 2014 from 12-1 pm.

The Women Entrepreneurs Club and LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce Will Host “How Entrepreneurs Can A.C.E. the Global Market by Exporting to Emerging Markets” on 11/20/13

Sarita Jackson, PhD., speaker at "How Entrepreneurs Can A.C.E. the Global Market by Exporting to Emerging Markets"

Sarita Jackson, PhD., speaker at “How Entrepreneurs Can A.C.E. the Global Market by Exporting to Emerging Markets”

Jennifer A. Grady, Esq., hostess of "How Entrepreneurs Can A.C.E. the Global Market by Exporting to Emerging Markets"

Jennifer A. Grady, Esq., hostess of “How Entrepreneurs Can A.C.E. the Global Market by Exporting to Emerging Markets”

Jennifer A. Grady, Esq., of The Grady Firm and Founder/President of the Women Entrepreneurs Club, will be hosting, and Sarita Jackson, PhD., will be presenting, a seminar on the benefits and practical tips for entering, and succeeding in, the export market to emerging countries.

The event will take place at the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles on November 20, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  The presentation will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.

To RSVP for the event, click here.  For more information, read below: Continue reading