Tagged: startup


Join us on Saturday August 18th for our next First Time Entrepreneur workshop!

The program is open to entrepreneurs that are starting companies in areas that are likely to draw venture capital investment. (The workshop is not applicable to service providers).

TICKETS: https://www.lava.org/events/first-time-entrepreneur-workshop-1

During the workshop you will learn how to:

  • Determine the value of your company
  • Put together a capitalization table
  • Understand how VCs screen potential investments
  • Understand the differences between trademarks, copyrights and patents and when you need them
  • Work with co-founders
  • Network at startup events — the right way






CLIENT BULLETIN: California Supreme Court Changes Standard for Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors



On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court changed the standard used to determine whether a person is an independent contractor or employee of a company.

The Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court case centered around whether delivery service drivers for Dynamex were independent contractors or employees. For the past 30 years, companies relied on a multi-factor test in California that focused on whether the company had control over the how the work was being completed to classify a worker. Dynamex, also relying on this standard, argued that their drivers were independent contractors because the drivers set their own driving schedules, used their own vehicles, had the ability to decline delivery assignments and could work for multiple companies.

The Supreme Court, however, adopted a new standard in the Dynamex case and ruled that the drivers were in fact employees and allowed the drivers to be certified for a class action lawsuit.

The new “ABC test” will likely make it difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors in California because it presumes all workers are employees unless the company can demonstrate that the worker:

A). is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact; and

B). performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and

C). is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

Part A of the test includes similar language from the previous test with respect to control; however Parts B and C impose new restrictions on companies being able to classify a worker as an independent contractor. For Part B, the Supreme Court provided an example that a plumber or electrician who is hired by a retailer to perform maintenance work at a retail store is truly an independent contractor because the work being provided is outside the usual course of the retailer’s business. Part C is designed to identify those workers who have decided to go into business for themselves, regardless of whether the worker has actually formed a separate entity.

With this new standard in place, companies should reevaluate existing agreements with independent contractors to ensure whether these workers are indeed independent contractors under the new ABC test or should now be classified as employees and afforded the benefits of an employee.

SEC’s Letter: Questions and concerns about cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

On January 18th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a Staff Letter addressed to the Investment Company Institute and the Asset Management Group of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

The letter outlined the SEC’s concerns about cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Specifically, the letter stated that there are “significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the [Investment Company Act of 1940] and its rules.”

The letter identified 5 specific areas of concern:

  • Valuation
  • Liquidity
  • Custody
  • Arbitrage
  • Potential manipulation and other risks

The letter posed several questions under each area of concern, some of which are: (i) What are the policies and procedures to determine the fair value of cryptocurrency related products? (ii) How would funds classify the liquidity of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency related products? (iii) How would the custody requirements be satisfied for cryptocurrency holdings?  (iv) How would the fragmented, volatile and high-volume trading characteristics of cryptocurrencies allow ETFs to comply with market price requirements? and (v) How will ETFs ensure investor protection with cryptocurrencies that have a higher opportunity for fraud and manipulation than traditional securities?

The letter concluded by saying the SEC does “not believe that it is appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products” until the questions in the letter are satisfactorily addressed. The SEC also stated that it has requested that sponsors withdraw registration statements that have already been filed for such products.

The full letter can be found here:

Staff Letter: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings


Last Call! Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs on Thursday Oct. 19th

Last call to RSVP for our event tomorrow, Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs.

The event is FREE, but please register here:  https://connectpasadena.com/events/top-10-legal-mistakes-made-by-first-time-entrepreneurs.


Connect17 - WeWork venue

VENUE CHANGE: Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs 

Our Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs event next week will now be held at WeWork Pasadena (177 E Colorado Blvd, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91101).

Date: Thursday October 19, 2017
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: WeWork Pasadena

The event is FREE to all attendees, but RSVPs are requested:  https://connectpasadena.com/events/top-10-legal-mistakes-made-by-first-time-entrepreneurs.

Thank you to ShuiMu America-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

On October 1st I attended the ShuiMu America-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum in San Gabriel, California. Thank you for having me as a judge for the pitch competition.

Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs


Join us on October 19th for our Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by First Time Entrepreneurs event at Innovate Pasadena’s Connect 17.

Date: Thursday October 19, 2017
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: CTRL Collective

The event is FREE to all attendees, but RSVPs are requested:  https://connectpasadena.com/events/top-10-legal-mistakes-made-by-first-time-entrepreneurs.