68 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 ...
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  • 9,536
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'...
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  • 6,089
49 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 ...
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  • 147k
49 votes
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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 ...
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47 votes
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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 ...
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  • 129k
47 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,114
29 votes
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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 ...
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  • 89.1k
26 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 ...
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23 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 ...
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  • 11.6k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 129k
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 ...
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  • 24.4k
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 ...
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  • 147k
18 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 ...
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  • 1,826
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 ...
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  • 156k
14 votes
Accepted

"This provision survives the termination of this Agreement."

Jurisdiction has not been provided, so I've written a general answer: Not necessarily; often, such provisions clauses will have their own expiration dates, for example "for five years after signing, ...
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  • 8,232
13 votes
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Can someone more wealthy than me bury me in legal fees?

There are both statutes and customs aimed at preventing "Malicious Prosecution" and "Abuse of Process." (In Pennsylvania, for example, the 1980 Dragonetti Act allows the victim of a frivolous lawsuit ...
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  • 19.8k
13 votes

What can I do if I signed an excessively restrictive contract?

I have already contacted a lawyer and paid all the money I had and they didn't help me resolve anything, the guy just talked to me for a little bit. He essentially just took my $600 and no action ...
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  • 24.4k
13 votes

Can non-US citizens own equity in US companies?

Yes, non-US citizens can own equity in US companies. To be specific: You do not have to be a citizen or resident of the US to own securities in a company incorporated in the US.
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13 votes
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Can an airline forcibly remove a senior citizen who is wearing a soiled adult diaper?

It depends on what the Contract of Carriage says. Delta Airlines, for US contracts, says under rule 7 that Delta may refuse to transport any passenger, and may remove any passenger from its aircraft ...
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  • 156k
12 votes
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Can someone deny cash as the payment method?

The Bank of England actually makes this pretty clear with the following line: Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning, which relates to settling debts. It means that if you are in debt ...
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  • 4,165
11 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to sell something that uses another product as one of its ingredients?

Yes, it is legal to sell something that uses another product as one of its ingredients. And yes, you can include the name of the product in the ingredients list. That said, if you do it and are ...
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  • 8,272
11 votes

Is it legal to run a business where members subscribe for a chance to purchase a product each month?

california This is a lottery, and thus illegal as a for-profit business Calfornia Penal Code § 319 defines a "lottery" as any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property by chance, ...
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  • 9,536
11 votes

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

Draconian employment agreements are not always enforceable. This is especially true in "right to work" jurisdictions. Courts have essentially ruled that employers can't have it both ways. ...
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  • 402
10 votes
Accepted

Are businesses in Wisconsin required to accept waste oil?

Wisconsin requires retailers of automotive oil to either accept household "do-it-yourself" used oil or post a sign at the location of sale indicating the location and hours of operation of ...
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  • 9,065
9 votes
Accepted

I am working with a colleague to create a game. We agreed to split profits 50/50. Would creating a contract promising 50% be legal?

A contract agreeing to share 50% of the profits from the game with him would be legal but it would be unwise, because it could create a general partnership, depriving him of the benefits of limited ...
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  • 129k
9 votes
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Can you be sued for money if your product is released for free?

Yes. Money damages can be awarded in this circumstance and would likely be awarded if the infringement was found to have occurred and not to have been fair use. Even in the absence of proof that any ...
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  • 129k
9 votes
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Why is a company allowed to change the number of shares it’s divided into after its IPO?

There are two different kinds of transactions that are implicated by your question. The first is a stock stock split. This simply turns 1 share into X shares and trades out existing shares for new ...
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  • 129k
9 votes

Use of a trademark instead of a business name

It's best to use formal names in legal documents. For example, Ringo Starr's musical compositions are credited to Richard Starkey. If you have a business that wishes to do business under a name other ...
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  • 24.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Forming an LLC in Idaho: Is programming professional?

The threshold question is if you have a state license for your work. That is why a software developer/consultant is not an engineer. Take a look at paragraph 19: "Professional company" means a ...
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