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71 votes
Accepted

If I'm the CEO and largest shareholder of a public company, would taking anything from my office be considered as a theft?

Yes. Let's assume this anecdote takes place while Gates was CEO. Bill Gates doesn't own all of Microsoft, and as an officer of the company, he owes a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
60 votes

Company sent a check to me to buy equipment to use for work, but the bank is holding the funds and now the company is threating legal action on me

The pattern you describe fits a very common scam. The scammers send money to the victim by a reversible transaction, like a check which can bounce after initially being cleared. They ask the victim to ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17.9k
50 votes

If I'm the CEO and largest shareholder of a public company, would taking anything from my office be considered as a theft?

Yes Even if the CEO is the 100% owner of a private company. Bill Gates and Microsoft are different people: Bill’s stuff is not Microsoft’s stuff and vice versa. If Bill takes Microsoft’s stuff without ...
Dale M's user avatar
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50 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for a business to refuse service to a former customer in retribution for them leaving negative online reviews of the business?

A business owner can normally refuse service for any reason unless anti-discrimination law, or some other specific law, applies. "Critic of the business" is not a protected class. Whether a ...
David Siegel's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Can a business put a specific cancel-by date into a contract?

Can a business put whatever they want into a contract? No. There are some things a business cannot put into a contract. But I don't see anything stopping them from putting this into a contract. It'...
D M's user avatar
  • 7,168
46 votes
Accepted

Can an AI own a company?

Short Answer No. An AI cannot own a company. Artificial intelligences are not legal persons. The law recognizes human beings and legally recognized entities as persons. It does not recognize AIs or ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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46 votes
Accepted

Can I frame my app business as a nonprofit if users can choose the amount to pay to download my app?

Being a "non-profit" organization, in the US at least, does not mean you don't make a profit. There are plenty of for-profit companies that don't make a profit. What it means is that you ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 3,486
43 votes
Accepted

Is Intentional Bankruptcy Illegal?

Fraud england-and-wales northern-ireland This would be fraud under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006: (1) A person is in breach of this section if he — (a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and ...
JBentley's user avatar
  • 8,321
40 votes

How do you check the legality of a new business model?

Hire a lawyer, who is licensed and trained in law and who is obligated to be honest with you and advocate for your interests, and get him/her to review your business plan. He/she will point out real ...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
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37 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for a train company to create an art gallery using photographs of the graffiti on their locomotives and train cars?

Copyright law doesn't say the art isn't copyrighted if it was made unlawfully. It seems the art can be copyrighted and the act of making it can be a criminal offence. I'm not aware of any such ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 17.2k
34 votes

Is it legal to bill a company that made contact for a business proposal, then withdrew based on their policies that existed when they made contact?

If you have an agreement with a company that specifies "you agree to give me something of value, in case I give you something of value", you have a contract. In order for there to be a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
32 votes
Accepted

Why do companies need to keep invoices for their business expenses as well as receipts?

Invoices often provide more information than a receipt about the product or service purchased, including the amount of tax paid. The information on a receipt may not be enough to substantiate a ...
sjy's user avatar
  • 9,188
31 votes

Is it legal for a train company to create an art gallery using photographs of the graffiti on their locomotives and train cars?

No You are conflating two different ownership concepts: the art in which the copyright exists, and the artwork that is the expression of the art (my terminology). The artist owns the art, the train ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
30 votes

Is Intentional Bankruptcy Illegal?

In some cases it it possible for courts to "pierce the corporate veil" and shift the liabilities of a corporation to its owner(s). This can be done in cases where there is no real separation ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Does the app TikTok violate trademark?

As usual with trademarks, the key question is "will reasonable people be confused about the source or affiliations of the product or service". Trademarks are, as you already know, limited to a ...
David Siegel's user avatar
28 votes

If I'm the CEO and largest shareholder of a public company, would taking anything from my office be considered as a theft?

No. At least, not technically. Theft is taking without consent of the owner. The CEO is authorized to act on behalf of the company, and thus can give themself permission to take the computer. Even if ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
27 votes

Is there anything to stop a private business from barring a previous customer who takes a civil action against it?

A business has the right to refuse service, except in the case of unlawful discrimination. "Sued us" is not a protected characteristic. Unless part of the settlement was that the business ...
Comic Sans Seraphim's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Why is PayPal blocking my account according to U.S. tax law, if I've a UK account only?

The reason that you are being asked to comply with a US law is because PayPal, a US company, is required to comply with US laws. If you do not comply, it is likely that they will be non-compliant and ...
jimsug's user avatar
  • 12.2k
22 votes

Can I frame my app business as a nonprofit if users can choose the amount to pay to download my app?

The answer by @jwh20 is good but does not summarize the nature of a non-profit organization. There are essentially three kinds of private entities. A natural person is a human being who is looking ...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar
21 votes

Company sent a check to me to buy equipment to use for work, but the bank is holding the funds and now the company is threating legal action on me

There are many scams where companies you are not familiar with send you checks which turn out to be worthless. If you have not been an employee of this company for a substantial period of time (...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar
20 votes

Spin-off company with all parent's debt?

An arrangement like that (if successful) would be a fraudulent transfer in which creditors could gain access to the assets of the company's to which the assets were transferred, if pursued before the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
20 votes

How does copyrights work for mobile/web applications?

A fundamental principle of copyright law is that protection is only afforded to the concrete expression, and not the abstract idea. Therefore, if you write a sort program, what is protected is "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
19 votes

Can a business owner refuse specific Bills and Coins?

Canada may have specific different laws, but in most countries any legal tender must be accepted for payment of a debt. There are subtleties; in the UK for example more than 20 one penny coins are not ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.2k
19 votes

If an employer owns any work you produce whilst employed, do you have to be un-employed before you can begin a startup?

Ideas aren't property Your employer does not own your ideas. However, neither do you. Ideas are not something that is protected by intellectual property law. To be IP, you need more than an idea. What ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
19 votes

If an employer owns any work you produce whilst employed, do you have to be un-employed before you can begin a startup?

Contract terms are a negotiation. If you think "company X owns all work produced whilst employed" is an unreasonable term, then your legal option is to refuse to sign it. Of course, the ...
richardb's user avatar
  • 2,346
18 votes

Company sent a check to me to buy equipment to use for work, but the bank is holding the funds and now the company is threating legal action on me

This is almost certainly a scam. For one thing, I've never had a company send me a check to buy my own equipment myself - they always purchase it themselves through their usual requisition process and ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
18 votes

Can 501(C)(3) sell items that were donated?

Non-profits are allowed to make a profit, assuming that the activities and profits are in line with its non-profit intent. Selling a donation to advance its non-profit public benefit is typically ...
cde's user avatar
  • 651
16 votes

How does copyrights work for mobile/web applications?

If the developer sold exclusive rights to their code, their customer has grounds to sue. If the developer licensed their code non-exclusively, there isn't grounds. Normally, a contract developer will ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 2,948
15 votes

Can a business put a specific cancel-by date into a contract?

Yes, a contract that gives you a right to use a facility for a specific period of time is valid; it does not matter that you didn't or don't plan to use the membership. There is also no law limiting ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
15 votes

Is it legal for a train company to create an art gallery using photographs of the graffiti on their locomotives and train cars?

I have been wondering that since a train company owns its locomotives and train cars, then I am assuming that this means that they own any graffiti that has been painted on their locomotives and train ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.5k

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