Archive for April, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Name Change

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Gay marriage can make getting a name change even more complicated. Here’s how to take care of it.

With same-sex marriage legal in some states but not in others, domestic partnerships recognized as equivalent to marriage in still other states, and gay marriage not recognized by the federal government, issues surrounding same-sex marriage can be a confusing legal morass.

One of these issues that can cause gay couples trouble is changing one (or both) of their names.

Most same-sex partners choose to keep their own names when they get married, however there are many who opt to change their names. In some cases one partner will take the other’s name, or they will both hyphenate their names. Some even opt to create an entirely new name by combining their two names.

How exactly to change your name is complicated because each state has different laws concerning both name changes and get marriages. (more…)

Is an S Corporation Shareholder an Employee or Independent Contractor?

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

S corporation shareholders may be independent contractors, but not if they are also officers of the corporation

Let’s say the shareholder of an S corporation wants to do some work for the corporation and be paid as an independent contractor with a 1099-MISC. Is that possible? Is it even legal?

The short answer is yes. But there’s an important distinction that needs to be made here. A shareholder of an S corporation could be an independent contractor, but a corporate officer is considered an employee and must be paid with a W-2.

According to the IRS, “corporate officers are specifically included within the definition of an employee under FICA, FUTA, and federal income tax withholding purposes.”

The only way a corporate officer can be exempted from being an employee is if he (more…)

How to Copyright

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Copyright registration can provide many benefits, and is easier than you think

You don’t actually need to register with the Copyright Office to secure a copyright, but registration is recommended because it provides several advantages.

A work is automatically copyrighted when a work is created, at the moment that it is fixed in a copy or a phonorecord for the first time.

Why register

Registration is a legal formality that, while not absolutely necessary to obtain a copyright, is highly recommended. First of all it makes your copyright a matter of public record and it must be done before an infringement suit is filed in court.

If your copyright is registered before or within five years of publication, registration establishes prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright. Plus, if registered within three months of publication, or prior to infringement of the work, then statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to you in court actions. If you don’t register, you can only get an award of actual damages and profits. (more…)