Should I incorporate my business?
Do I need a board of directors? What can they do for me?
Should I sign that contract? What if I need to back out?
What exactly is a partnership agreement?
In this super-simple primer, you'll learn the basics of business structures, agency, and contracts, specially designed for those who are launching or running a new business.
If you're an entrepreneur who's ready to easily master the basics of business law, corporations, and contracts, this course is for you.
Leverage Your Business to Greater Success by Mastering Legal Principles.
I created this course because I hated to see so many smart, focused, entrepreneurial adult students struggle with the basics of business law in my classroom.
I have practiced, researched, and/or taught law in two countries and yes, it's complicated – but the principals of law are so incredibly powerful, so perfectly developed to turbocharge your business efforts (or sink them, if you don't know the basics) that I set out to teach this in an easy, accessible manner so anyone can master the basics, speak the language, and even enjoy the learning.
This I firmly believe:
If you're smart enough to launch or run a business, or even launch your own professional career, you're more than smart enough to master the fundamentals of business law.
So I designed this narrated video series for smart, hard-working adults who are brand new to law, and not ready to commit to a complicated course series.
Each narrated video includes a quick concept overview, storyline update, learning review, vocabulary lists, questions for thought -- all this in just 2 to 3-minutes – followed by a super-simple spot-check quiz to position you for success from the very first lesson.
·Who should take this course? This course is for you if you are
·. . . Launching or running your own business
·. . . Working and collaborating with legal advisers
·. . . Working on the Board of Directors -- or plan to be!
·. . . Managing a professional career
·. . . Need to understand the basics of business or commercial law
Click "Start Learning Now" to get started!
In Business Structures you'll learn:
What a sole proprietor is . . . and how you're probably one already without realizing it.
What a partnership is . . . and the single step to minimize the biggest risk to your partnership and your personal finances.
What a limited partnership is . . . and how you can use it to bring in extra financing, without losing control.
What it means to incorporate . . . how you might be reducing your risk, but doubling your tax exposure.
Partnerhsip agreements, shareholder agreements,
The basics of corporate accountability internationally . . . and ow
In Principal/Agency Law, you'll learn:
What the true legal relationship is between an employee, an employer . . . and the rest of the world.
How your employees represent your company . . . and how you might be liable for their decisions.
How you can sometimes “adopt" a decision that was never yours to begin with.
Why being on the Board of Directors can open you up to legal liability.
The basics of corporate accountability internationally, social accountability, and
who's really at fault, when corporations go bad. (Hint: it's uncomfortably close to home.)
In Contract law, you'll learn:
What three things are necessary to make a promise into an enforceable contract.
How you might not be liable, even if you do breach a contract.
What a court might do, what a court will almost always do, and what a court will never do, to fix a broken contract.
Five types of contracts that must be in writing – and a super-simple way to remember the list!
“Just 12 hours ago one of my clients was making inquiries on Incorporation and most of my response was taken from these modules."
----- Business Law Graduate, April 2012
I can't promise you'll use your first lesson within 12 hours like this student did!
But I can promise you will master this material so much more easily and more quickly then you ever thought possible.
Please join us! I love the law, and I think you will too.
One person, doing business for profit? You are a sole proprietor. This is the simplest business structure. All profits go to the owner and are taxed to the owner -- but -- if the business is sued or goes bankrupt, the owner's funds are fully exposed to liability.
Review the basics of Sole Proprietorship with these quick and easy quiz questions.
A corporation is the most complex form of ownership. A corporation is owned by shareholders (also called stockholders), who are fully protected in case of bankruptcy or legal liability. All profits are taxed to the corporation, and then again when they are distributed to shareholders, resulting in the possibility for double taxation of profits.
View a full, point-by-point comparison of all four traditional business structures in this super-simple bonus video. One minute to mastery!
A contract is a promise which is enforceable by law. In order to be a true contract, it requires:
A contact can be written, verbal, or implied by the circumstances.
Sometimes a contract can have all the required elements and still not be enforceable. Some defenses to a contract claim include:
When a contract is breached (broken), a court of law will try to restore parties to where they would have been, had the contract not been breached.
The most common court-imposed remedy is monetary damages (payment), especially:
Courts may also impose an injunction, preventing someone from acting, or rarely, specific performance, which is forcing a party to provide a service as written in the contract.
Parties have a duty to mitigate (limit) the losses.
As we know, most contracts are valid whether they are written, oral, or implied by the circumstances.
Most jurisdictions, however, have adopted some form of the "Statute of Frauds". (A "statute" is a law that is written and recorded in the law books. The "statute of frauds" was designed to reduce contract fraud.)
Under this legislation, the following types of contracts are enforceable only if they are in writing:
Easy memory aid?
Statute of Frauds
An Agent is someone who represents a Principal to a third party. Authority to act as an agent can be "express" (written or verbal) or "implied", as with an employee, or even a family member, whose authority is implied by the nature of the position.
What if there is no agency relationship, but someone else believes there is?
If a third party reasonably relies on "apparent" agency authority, then a Principal may be held responsible, even if that person had no actual authority to act as an agent.
An agent must act within the "scope" of authority, or else their agency is not valid.
A Principal can also go back and "ratify" a decision, making it valid, even if at the time the other party was not acting with actual agent authority.
As we know, a corporation is owned by shareholders, and is subject to certain incorporation requirements, costs, taxation, and special liability status.
The Board of Directors is the primary agent of a corporation, making decisions and representing the corporation to the outside world.
The Board has a very high fiduciary duty to represent the interests of the shareholder-owners.
The Board must also meet all the corporate legal maintenance obligations, or else, in lawsuit, a court may choose to "pierce the corporate veil," eliminating liability protection for the owners.
The Board of Directors' fiduciary duty includes an obligation to to exercise due diligence by carefully reviewing all options. If they don't, they can be sued by the shareholders of the corporation for not representing their interests.
As we know:
Therefore, if a corporation behaves in a manner that violates human rights or environmental standards, WHO might be said to be responsible for corporate behavior??
Congratulations Business Law Graduates! Please leave a review, then join our “Business Law for Entrepreneurs” Graduate forum discussion.
Christine Williams JD, MSW earned her law degree in Chicago, Illinois. She has a Masters Degree (with Honors) in Social Work, a Bachelor's in Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and has successfully completed the Canadian Bankers Associations' Professional Financial Planning program. She teaches Law and Ethics, both online and in person, throughout the United States and Canada.