Privately Held Corporations

News & Analysis as of

What is the RAISE Act and How Useful will it be to Sellers of Private Company Shares?

With the enactment of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, private companies have the ability to defer an IPO and SEC reporting, and remain private longer than at any time in the past. One result, however,...more

Growing Trend of Companies Staying Private Longer

On May 17, 2016, Fortune Magazine published an article by Geoff Colvin, “Take This Market and Shove It,” examining the growing trend of companies staying private rather than opting for an IPO. The article notes that while...more

Theranos, the SEC’s Pursuit of Unicorns, and Taking the Reins of Internal Controls

In the wake of a host of negative developments, Theranos Inc. is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC and DOJ inquiries are likely to focus on...more

FASB modifies accounting rules for stock-based compensation

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which amends ASC Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. ...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud Action Centered on Warrants From Private Firm

The SEC filed another offering fraud action, a current staple of the agency. This scheme centered on two former executives of a privately held software manufacturer and a marketer who sold investors interests in various...more

The Entrepreneurs Report - Q1 2016

From the WSGR Database: Financing Trends for Q1 2016 - The first quarter of 2016 saw a continued slowdown in venture activity and correspondingly less favorable terms for venture-backed companies. The percentage of up...more

Federal Court of Appeal Clarifies Test for “De Facto Control”

In McGillivray Restaurant Ltd. v. R., the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) recently provided welcome news to the Canadian tax community concerning the appropriate legal test for determining whether a person has “de facto...more

2016 NACD Private Company Governance Survey Results

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) recently released its 2015-2016 NACD Private Company Governance Survey. In an article in the March 2016 edition of “Private Company Director” – a monthly publication...more

Securities Enforcement Alert: SEC Increases Scrutiny of “Unicorns” and Other Private Companies and Secondary Market Trading of...

In an unprecedented one-day blitz, the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission was joined by the SEC Enforcement Director in events in Silicon Valley and San Francisco on March 31 focused on one message: the SEC is...more

Chair White Addresses Pre-IPO Private Placements and Staying Private Longer

Speaking at Stanford, Chair White addressed a broad range of issues affecting the technology sector, including the decision on the part of many privately held companies to defer their IPOs, to rely on exempt offerings to...more

Russian Legislation Update

Corporate - On 29 December 2015 the President signed Federal Law No. 391-FZ amending the Basic Principles of Notary Activities, the LLC Law and a number of other laws. The amendments provide, among others, the...more

Supervisory “Concerns” with Shareholder Protection Arrangements

In December 2015 (following years of sporadic and seemingly random criticism) of shareholder protection arrangements, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued guidance that the Federal Reserve “may” object...more

New York Expands Liability for Employee Claims for Unpaid Services Performed in New York to the Top 10 Shareholders of Privately...

Under a New York law in effect for decades, the top 10 shareholders of a privately held New York corporation can be held liable in certain circumstances for amounts owed to the corporation's employees. On January 19, 2016,...more

Highway Bill Contains Provisions Relevant to Start-ups and IPO Companies

Newly-enacted law would further facilitate trading in private company shares - Further streamlining of IPO process for Emerging Growth Companies - The recently-enacted highway bill, also known as the Fixing...more

Whistleblower Risk for Private Companies: Misperceptions About Whistleblower Protections Could Cost Private Companies

Sarbanes Oxley made it clear: publicly traded companies must protect whistleblowers from retaliation, or face large fines and legal actions. Yet a widely misunderstood ruling last year by the Supreme Court opened up...more

Blog: Secondary Sales of Private Company Stock

In years past, a private company stockholder would have expected to wait until the company went public or was acquired to receive any return on investment. However, over the last several years, stockholders in many private...more

Reduction of the Minimum Number of Shareholders in French Privately Held Stock Corporations

Effective September 12, 2015, the minimum number of shareholders in a French stock corporation (société anonyme or SA) has been reduced from seven to two. This modification is only applicable to privately held SAs, publicly...more

Corporation or LLC? Business Organizations for Tech Startups.

One of the first actions you will take with your startup is to organize your company a separate legal entity to protect yourself from personal liability for the company’s debts. In the tech startup context, you’ll typically...more

M&A: How to Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Business

As a family or private business owner, you know how to sell your product or service. But do you know how to sell the company itself? Selling a business that has been built over the years is emotional and stressful, and for...more

Successful Strategies For Doing Business In Asia: Hong Kong (Updated)

Hong Kong is always rated as one of the world’s freest economies, one of the reasons being that the government has always adopted the approach of nonintervention. Hong Kong strives to attract more foreign investors to...more

H.R. 3226: New Bill Calls for Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery in Corporate Supply Chains

In late July, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3226, the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015. The bill, if passed, would require companies to file annual reports with...more

Flawed Valuation Leads Delaware Court to Award Damages to Option Holders

On July 28, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion in which it criticized in particularly strong terms the analysis performed by a financial firm that was retained to value companies that were being...more

Final Rules for Preventive Services

The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued interim final regulations and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the cost-free coverage of preventive services under the...more

Amendment to Taiwan’s Company Act Establishes 'Closely-Held Company Limited by Shares' to Provide Flexibility on Fund-Raising for...

On July 1, 2015, an amendment (Amendment) to the Company Act of Taiwan took effect to establish a new category of company under the new Chapter 13, called “closely-held company limited by shares”, hereinafter, a 'close...more

Newsletter: Cooley M&A Team News - July 2015

As discussed in our March 2014 and April 2015 newsletters, in the last few years, there have been numerous developments in the law and practice surrounding appraisal rights under Delaware law. That trend has continued with...more

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