Santa Monica, CA Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect on July 1, 2016

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On April 28, 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a mandatory minimum wage increase to $10.50 per hour, which will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Santa Monica’s new ordinance mirrors the minimum wage laws adopted by Los Angeles earlier this year. Continue reading

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California Employers: Prepare for New Overtime Rules Effective December 1, 2016

numbers-time-watch-white.pexelsOn May 18, 2016, President Obama  and Secretary  Perez announced the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, to the disappointment of many employers.  The new rule, which will automatically provide overtime pay protections to over four million  workers within its first year of implementation, goes into effect on December 1, 2016.

The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015 (80 FR 38515) and invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov by September 4, 2015. The Department received over 270,000 comments in response to the NPRM from a variety of interested stakeholders. The feedback the Department received helped shape the Final Rule. Continue reading

Starting or Relocating a Business Within California? Check out these Little-Known Tax and Setup Incentives

california.unsplashby Jennifer Grady, Esq.

The State of California offers numerous incentives and assistance programs to  businesses of all sizes and industries that are considering expansion into the Golden State, whether they plan to have 3, 50, or 20,000+ employees.

From tax breaks, to help with site selection, to employee training, and development bonds, there are numerous government-sponsored programs in place to help small to large businesses successfully transition to opening business in the state. Below are some examples of the types of business support available in California.

Programs and Services from GO-Biz, The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

 Site Selection AssistanceGO-Biz Logo (web)

GO-Biz will conduct a confidential site selection search on your behalf, or provide you with a broker to guide you through the local commercial real estate market.

In addition, GO-Biz will send out a Request for Information to city managers and economic development departments to obtain off-market information about city, state, and county-owned properties available for lease for discounted rates, even as little as $1.00 per year.

Continue reading

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Attend International Startup “Collision Conference” in New Orleans

3dca05aFor the second year in a row, Jennifer Grady Esq., principal attorney at The Grady Firm P.C., will be attending the third annual Collision Conference hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana, from April 26 to 28, 2016. The conference is strategically scheduled between New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival weekends to highlight New Orleans’ cultural and musical prowess.

The Collision Conference (@CollisionHQ), “America’s fastest growing tech conference”, is a major US technology and entrepreneurship conference hosted by the same entities behind Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland, and F.ounders. The three-day conference will feature thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts from over 100 countries.

In juts two years, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world’s fastest growing startups and the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media.  This year’s speaker panels will include the CEOs from Slack, WeWork, General Electric, WordPress, and Eventbrite, among others. The conference will feature tracks on Coding, Design, E-Commerce, FinTech, Marketing, Music, Social Media, and Sports.

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Ms. Grady with entrepreneurs from Canada, Mexico, and Brazil at Collision 2015

While at the conference, Ms. Grady will be meeting with entrepreneurs who have made the trek from around the US and the globe who to network with investors, speakers, and other entrepreneurs.  She will be providing one-on-one consultations regarding corporate setup, contracts, and immigration issues for business owners.

To schedule a consultation with Ms. Grady at Collision, please fill out a  contact request form.

About Jennifer Grady, Esq.

Founding Attorney, Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. is an attorney, business consultant, and community organizer. Ms. Grady founded the law firm of The Grady Firm, P.C. in 2012 with a passion for helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and their families achieve the American Dream of freedom, opportunity, self-sufficiency, and success. As an international business attorney, she teaches entrepreneurs around the world how to open a business in the United States, and has lectured extensively throughout California, Canada, Chile, Argentina, and the United States on business, immigration, and employment law topics in both English and in Spanish.

Ms. Grady and her team of attorneys at The Grady Firm, P.C. specialize in business, employment, and immigration law for California entrepreneurs, and act the liaison for foreign business owners that wish to expand their operations to the United States.  In order to support their clients throughout the state, The Grady Firm has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, and serves clients remotely from across the globe.

To schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s business, employment, and immigration attorneys, call +1 (323) 450-9010, or fill out a Contact Request Form. 

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

Changes to CA Minimum Wage Will Impact Employers’ Budgets for 2016- Are You Prepared?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

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California’s minimum wage will increase again on Jan. 1, 2016

With just a few weeks until the end of 2015, employers are rapidly approaching the statutory California minimum wage increase set to take place on January 1, 2016.  This increase means that employers must review their monthly and annual expenses to determine how the salary increase will affect their overall budget, and how it may impact the wages of workers that are already earning more than the minimum wage.  Continue reading

The Grady Firm, P.C. Celebrates Its Third Anniversary With Expansion Across California and Latin America

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On March 19, 2015, The Grady Firm, P.C. celebrates its third anniversary. Founded in 2012 by Jennifer Grady, Esq. as a one-woman firm dedicated to serving the legal and business counseling needs of entrepreneurs, the firm has evolved into a one-stop shop for business owners with a team of eight attorneys specializing in business, employment, litigation, immigration, and international business law.

The Los Angeles office located at 5900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

The Los Angeles office in Miracle Mile

The firm has offices throughout California, in its Los Angeles Headquarters in the museum district of Miracle Mile; the Financial District of San Francisco; and the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. Most recently, The Grady Firm will be partnering with a law firm in Guadalajara, Mexico, in order to establish a link between businesses in the United States and Mexico, and open its first office abroad.

Presenting to Startup Chile

Ms. Grady speaking to entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile

This year, the firm expanded globally by pursuing international business opportunities in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico by acting as the liaison for international Startups wishing to expand their market reach to the United States. To that end, Ms. Grady attended the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco in October; gave a presentation to a community of international entrepreneurs at Start-up Chile, a government-funded incubator in Santiago de Chile; and established relationships with Argentinian, Mexican, and Swedish investors intending to open new businesses in the United States.

Ambassador Locke

With Ambassador Locke, former US Ambassador to China, at the IIUSA EB-5 Conference in San Francisco

Continue reading

Can’t I Just Hire an Intern? What Employers Need to Know to Stay Compliant With California Law

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

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

Photo Credit Buzzghana.com

Internship programs provide great benefits to businesses and interns alike, but employers must comply with both California and Federal laws in order to avoid potential lawsuits and fines.

To clarify, a person hired as an unpaid intern must (1) be a student enrolled in an accredited academic program and receive academic credit for the internship, or (2) be enrolled in a program that provides training and is approved by a public agency.  If the intern is not part of an accredited program, the employer must pay the intern at least minimum wage for all hours worked. Continue reading

New Laws Limit the Scope and Privacy of Arbitration in California Starting January 1, 2015

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

Photo ANCA Western Region

Photo ANCA Western Region

California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law aiming to restrict the reach of arbitration agreements, starting January 2015. The bills have the effect of chilling arbitration by making it a less attractive option for employers and making it less private.

1. Private Arbitration Providers Must Publish Quarterly Matter Details Online re Consumer Arbitrations

After January 1, 2015, AB 802 will have the effect of reducing the privacy of arbitration by requiring major arbitration providers such as JAMS and AAA to publish at least quarterly on their websites detailed information concerning consumer matters they have abritrated.  Continue reading

New Laws for California Employers in 2015

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

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

The California legislature has passed numerous laws that will take effect January 1, or July 1, 2015.  Employers must revise their policies to reflect the new laws.  We have provided a summary of these new laws below.   Continue reading

Increases in IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2015

© Jennifer Grady

© Jennifer Grady

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup, or panel truck will be:

57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business expense reimbursement rates have increased 1.5 cents from 56 cents per mile in 2014.  The medical and moving expense rates will decrease one-half cent from the 2014 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

For more information, visit the IRS website.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Fair Chance Ordinance, Creating New Requirements for Employers During the Hiring Process

San Francisco City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty images.

San Francisco City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty images.

by Gayane Khechoomian

As of August 13, 2014, San Francisco businesses with 20 or more employees are required to review an individual’s qualifications before inquiring about that person’s arrest and conviction record(s) and related information.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance (“FCO”) requiring that employers limit the use of criminal history information and follow certain procedures and restrictions when inquiring about and using conviction history information.

Specifically, the ordinance outlines (1) which criminal arrest and conviction records cannot be used during the hiring process, (2) when employers can ask about criminal arrests and convictions, and (3) what interactive process the employer must engage in with regard to the individual’s arrest and conviction record.

In addition, employers covered by the FCO must include in all job ads or solicitations a statement that the employer will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the FCO.

The ordinance covers all jobs temporary, seasonal, part-time, contract, contingent, and commission-based. It also covers those who do work through a temporary or employment agency, and educational or vocational training.

Read more here.

The Grady Firm. P.C. attorneys provide employment document drafting and legal counsel for business owners and Human Resources Managers.  To learn how we may be able to assist you, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with our attorneys here, or call (323) 450-9010.

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.

 

What Types of Lending Options are Available to help Entrepreneurs Start and Grow Their Businesses?

PERSONAL LOANS, BANK LOANS, AND SBA LOANS

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Tristan Younghaus, Esq.

Starting a business can be an exciting, yet costly endeavor. Entrepreneurs need startup capital to cover the cost of living expenses, salaries, overhead, legal fees, filing fees, marketing/advertising, shipping costs, and even production costs. There are numerous funding options available, from interest free loans to venture capital. In this two part series, we will explore the various options that are available for small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this blog, we will discuss loans/gifts from family and friends, bank loans, and Small Business Administration loans. The next posting will explore government grants, venture capital, and crowdfunding.

1. Loans/Gifts From Family and Friends

ImageOne of the most common places entrepreneurs begin when searching for funding is by soliciting loans from family and friends. These personal loans are not considered to be a “loan” by the Internal Revenue Service unless the terms of the agreement are stated in writing, (i.e. by stating the loan amount and the interest rate to be paid). Otherwise, after January 1, 2013, the IRS considers the money given to be a gift, and subject to the Federal Gift Tax, if the loan amount is over $14,000.

For borrowers, it may be most advantageous to have the terms of the loan written loosely, and to set proper expectations for all parties involved. For example, in order to preserve the integrity of the personal relationship, the borrower should make it clear that the loan should actually be considered a “gift” in the lender’s mind, and that the lender maintain the expectation that it may never be paid back. This is due to the high likelihood that the money will not be recouped. The borrower may want to avoid memorializing a specific date of repayment, with terms such as, “borrower to pay back loan when monthly income is greater than $10,000.00,” or whenever a reasonable amount is reached. Continue reading

How Do You Save Your Marriage from Your Startup? Who Gets the Company in the Divorce?

Excerpt From Inc. Magazine

Image“Maintaining a marriage is hard enough as it is. The national divorce rate is at an all-time high, and it has doubled for Americans over age 35 in the past two decades, according to an April report by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Nearly half of all people who have been married undergo a divorce or separation by their late 50s. Though there has been scant research on the topic of entrepreneurs and divorce, many founders say that the overwhelming pressures and demands of launching a company have wreaked havoc on their marriages. What’s worse, a failed marriage can all too easily destroy even a thriving entrepreneurial business.

Even some of the most successful entrepreneurs have experienced marital failure. Last year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin separated from his wife, Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder of DNA-testing company 23andMe. In 2010, Wynn Resorts founders Steve and Elaine Wynn got divorced–for the second time. And Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has been divorced twice since 2010.

Nine states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) have community property laws that dictate all assets accumulated by the couple during the marriage be split down the middle. That includes company stock. In some cases, companies have been sold to raise cash to pay off spouses. In others, brawling exes have been forced to become business partners.

Even if you try to shield your spouse from the daily travails of running a company–the nearly missed payrolls and the personnel problems–those pressures have a way of following you home.”

Read the full article here.

The Grady Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm catering to business owners and their families. As the “pre-nup attorney for businesses,” founder Jennifer Grady, Esq. and her team of attorneys in the Business Advising Department draft Bylaws, Operating Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, and Shareholder Agreements to protect their entrepreneur clients from their partnerships going awry.  The Grady Firm’s Estate Planning Department protects business owners’ assets through trusts and asset protection methods.

To find out how to protect your family and your business, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation today, or call (323) 450-9010.