March 2017

5 Things You Need To Know About the Home Office Deduction

Let’s talk about the home office deduction. People ask me about it all the time. “Can I take it?” “Do I qualify?” “Will it increase my chances of getting audited?” All of these are reasonable questions—particularly nowadays, when the numbers of mico-businesses, home-based entrepreneurs, remote workers, work-from-home employees, and freelancers have grown so much over the past few years.

Here’s the answer, in a nutshell: The home office deduction is perfectly legitimate and you should absolutely consider it. Here are some important facts about this deduction—all sourced from the IRS’ summaryPublication 587 (Business Use of Your Home) and Form 8829 (Expenses for Business Use of Your Home). Of course, you should also check with your accountant.

Number 1: To even consider getting the deduction, a part of your home has to be your principal place of business. Read More »5 Things You Need To Know About the Home Office Deduction

Cyber Liability and D&O

One click is all it takes to order goods, exchange payment, and have the items shipped and delivered to a doorstep within hours.

But what happens when that one click is not used to facilitate commerce but rather used to intentionally or even accidentally disrupt a network? When one click releases a malicious code causing an assembly line to come to a screeching halt? When one click transfers millions of dollars to a fraudulent account? When one click by a rogue employee disseminates the contents of personal files to the public? In these instances, who is ultimately responsible?

In recent cases, fingers have pointed directly at the board of directors. Since 2013, several shareholder derivative suits have been filed following network security breaches. Defendants have included Home Depot, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Target, Wyndham, and Wendy’s. Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and it is clear that consumers and shareholders have high expectations for businesses and those who run them.

Allegations in these network security cases have included breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of implied contract, and violation of various state and federal statutes. Interestingly, most of the aforementioned cases have been dismissed (or settled) – apart from Wendy’s, which is still in its early stages. These dismissals are showing that the plaintiffs are having difficulty: (1) proving corporate mismanagement as a direct cause of harm from a data breach, and (2) showing actual compensatory injuries as a direct result of the breach. Courts have been dismissing cases in which actual damages have not been proven.Read More »Cyber Liability and D&O

What You Need to Know Before You Lease Commercial Property for Your Small Business

Renting space for your small business involves more than finding the perfect location at a price you can afford. Why? You’ll also need to sign a lease, a complex document that typically favors the landlord—and your success can hinge on its provisions.

But the terms of a lease are usually flexible, and with a little know-how, you can negotiate terms that work for both yourself and landlord.

Things to Know Before You Negotiate Your Commercial Property Lease

These are key areas to consider before you sign on the dotted line.Read More »What You Need to Know Before You Lease Commercial Property for Your Small Business