Publications

Massachusetts Sales Tax Applies to Computer & Software Services

While many Massachusetts residents have been taking some much deserved time off, the Massachusetts legislature passed a tax bill which renders a sales tax on computer and software services:  An Act Relative to Transportation Finance. The legislature allowed one week between the passage of the bill and the effective date of the law (the “Act“).  [...]

What Every Employer Should Know Before Hiring an Unpaid Intern

How are employees and unpaid interns classified under federal law? The Fair Labor Standards Act gives employees certain benefits and protections, including being paid at least minimum wage.  Employers must comply with these requirements unless their worker(s) fall into an exception category, such as a valid unpaid intern or volunteer.  An employer who improperly classifies [...]

Employers: Are you aware of the new Form I-9?

Beginning May 7, 2013, all employers must use the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9. New employees and any existing employees who have not previously completed a Form I-9 must fill out the new version of this form. Employers have certain legal responsibilities under immigration law during the hiring process, including verifying [...]

7 Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Benefit Corporation

On December 1, 2012, Massachusetts authorized a new type of corporation – the Benefit Corporation.  This form of corporation is a loose hybrid between a for-profit and a not-for-profit corporation, in that its directors and executives are required to create a “general public benefit” in addition to the traditional goal of generating financial returns for [...]

Beware – Email exchange may create binding contract

A Massachusetts court recently held that a case may proceed to trial to determine if email exchanges in a real estate transaction may bind the principals in the same manner as if they had physically signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement (Feldberg v. Coxall). The Court applied the Massachusetts Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (MGL chapter [...]

Massachusetts Wage Act Applies to Startup Founder – Stanton v. Lighthouse Financial Services, Inc.

Summary: A former president and founding shareholder of a start-up company can seek payment of deferred and unpaid salary under the Massachusetts Weekly Wage Act (the “Wage Act”) against both the company and the company’s CEO, who was also an early-stage investor. In the case of Stanton v. Lighthouse Financial Services, Inc., et al, a [...]

The Revised Massachusetts Independent Contractor Classification Law

Summary: On July 19, 2004, the Massachusetts statute governing independent contractors was revised. The presumption is that any work arrangement is an employer-employee relationship.  The revised law reduces the number of individuals who are eligible for independent contractor status, thus requiring employers to classify them as employees and as such, comply with the required worker’s [...]

Transition to New Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9)

Summary: All employers must use the new USCIS Form I-9 beginning December 26, 2007.  New employees and any existing employees who have not previously completed a Form I-9 must fill out the new Form I-9. Common Questions/Practical Answers 1. Why is this required?  USCIS has publicly stated that they will step up workplace enforcement of U. [...]

The Business Software Alliance’s (“BSA”) Campaign to Decrease Software Piracy

Summary: The BSA has expanded its “Know it/Report it/Reward it” campaign to encourage individuals to report software piracy.  In the event your business is using pirated software, you should obtain proper licenses and implement best practices to make sure all licenses are legally obtained and remain current. Common Questions/Practical Answers 1. What is software piracy?  [...]

New Filing Requirements for Massachusetts Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships

Summary: The SOS has enacted changes designed to make the filing requirements for LLCs and LPs similar to the requirements for corporations and Limited Liability Partnerships (“LLPs”), including the ability to administratively dissolve the entity for failure to file annual reports. Common Questions/Practical Answers 1. What are the changes to the filing requirements?  There are [...]