August is National “Make A Will” Month!

By Nisha Patel

Making a Will August doesn’t just mark the shift from vacation mode back to school and/or work.  It’s also National “Make A Will” Month!  If you’re one of the 70% of Americans who don’t have a current will – or have never had one to begin with – take advance of this month to either…

Marijuana Stores in Virginia: What You Need To Know About Cannabiz

By Brandy Brown

Marijuana Stores in Virginia The number of Americans free to enjoy recreational cannabis is growing. In April, Virginia became the sixteenth state to legalize non-medical marijuana use for adults. At Dunlap Law, our phones have been buzzing with inquiries from business owners about what this change means for them. Here are the answers to some…

Virginia Leads The Way: The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act

By Tricia Dunlap

In March of 2021, Virginia became the first state on the east coast with a comprehensive data privacy protection law. The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (“CDPA” or the “Act”) goes into effect on January 1, 2023. The CDPA takes inspiration from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) but its sponsors avoided some of the weaknesses of those two predecessors.

Is Small Business Bankruptcy Right For You?

By Nisha Patel

Worst of all, your cash reserves and any Paycheck Protection Program money you may have received are long gone. Your creditors are hounding your cell phone and your mailbox is full of bills. And with all of the talk about the “new normal,” perhaps you no longer see any light at the end of the tunnel for your business and are ready to throw in the towel. If so, perhaps a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.

2 Types of LLCs: Member-Managed v. Manager-Managed

By Tricia Dunlap

2 Types of LLCs: Manager-Managed v. Member-Managed Let’s talk about the two types of LLCs or Limited Liability Companies. First of all, Limited Liability Companies are a very flexible vehicle for doing business. They give you all of the protections from liability that a corporation gives you without many of the complexities and drawbacks that…

The Confidentiality Clause Curse: Should Your Professional Services Contract include a Confidentiality Clause?​

By Brandy Brown

Attorneys have an ethical duty to protect their clients’ confidential information under the law, but most professional services providers are not automatically bound to do the same. One way the parties to a professional services contract can manage the risks accompanying the necessary access to sensitive information is to address them in a confidentiality statement.

Starting a Business With Friends? 6 Questions You Need To Ask

By Tricia Dunlap

This post will help you think through six of the most basic questions that you’ve got to answer before you start your business.1. What Will Each Person Contribute to the Business? 2. Will Your Rights In Your Business Be Proportional to the Contribution to the Business? 3. What If One of You Wants to Resign? 4. Whether or Not You Need a Prohibition Against Engaging in Competing Business Activities. 5. Who Will Manage the LLC?
6. Can a New Member Join the LLC?

Tips For Workplace Safety, COVID-19, and Dealing With Employee Pushback

By Tricia Dunlap

This post taps the collective experiences of Tricia Dunlap (business attorney and CEO of Dunlap Law PLC) and Brian Chandler (PR expert and CEO of Commonwealth Public Relations).  Tips For Workplace Safety, COVID-19, and Dealing With Employee Pushback Like every business owner, the first months of the pandemic rocked your foundation. Now, six months in,…

Part 3 11 Tips Before Becoming an LLC Minority Member

By Tricia Dunlap

By Tricia Dunlap Esq. ~4 minute read Part 3 – LLC Education Series:  The Perilous Position of LLC Minority Members  Limited liability companies are highly popular, very flexible business entities.  They are cheaply and easily formed which unfortunately creates the illusion that lawyers aren’t necessary.  Au contraire.  The truth is that LLC’s can be a nasty trap for…

Part 5 3 Fiduciary Duties That Make Your LLC Safer

By Tricia Dunlap

By Tricia Dunlap Esq. ~2 minute read See more videos and blog posts Part 5 – LLC Education Series  Fiduciary Duties:  The Responsibilities You Never Knew You Had  Good faith and fair dealing.  Loyalty.  Care.  Sometimes these seem like quaint concepts.  A throwback to a kinder era.  In reality, they are implied responsibilities and “fiduciary duties” that can…

Part 4 Hotel California: An LLC Operating Agreement Gone Wrong

By Tricia Dunlap

By Tricia Dunlap Esq. ~2 minute read Part 4 – LLC Education Series  Hotel California: You Can Checkout but You Can Never Leave Relatively early in my legal career, a new client arrived with a terrible dilemma.  About a decade earlier, he and his buddy decided to invest in real estate. His buddy contributed more money, so my client…

Virginia Values Act: What Not To Do for Virginia Employers

By Tricia Dunlap

Virginia Values Act: What Not To Do for Virginia Employers On July 1, 2020, the Virginia Values Act became effective across the Commonwealth and employee-employer relations in the Old Dominion will likely never be the same. We have produced two videos that summarize the provisions, here and here.  This blog is more granular.  If you’re an employer in Virginia, this is your new list…

6 New Laws In The Virginia Values Act

By Tricia Dunlap

  By Tricia Dunlap Esq. ~9-10 Minute Read 6 New Laws In The Virginia Values Act The Virginia Values Act went into effect on July 1st, 2020. This was a significant law in Virginia that our General Assembly passed in the last session and it has some really important provisions for business owners to…

Be Smart(er) about Data Collection

By Tricia Dunlap

Tricia Dunlap, Esq. & Ben Nelson Ben Nelson is an experienced technologist at SingleStone Consulting who has provided custom application development and technical leadership for the public and private sectors.  He is a writer, podcaster, and presenter. ~4 minute read Be Smart(er) about Data Collection In recent years, many businesses have come to perceive data…

3 Tips to Prevent Coronavirus Lawsuits

By Tricia Dunlap

Subscribe to our YouTube channel Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~4 minute read 3 Tips to Prevent Coronavirus Lawsuits Coronavirus lawsuits are pretty hyped in the news lately and if you’re a business owner you might even be a little freaked out about it. I’m here to tell you that it’s a harder case to win than the…

SaaS Vendor Evaluation: 3 Criteria For Choosing Software Part 3

By Tricia Dunlap

Subscribe to our YouTube channel Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~3-4 minute read SaaS Vendor Evaluation: 3 Criteria For Choosing Software This is part three of a three-part series on choosing software and what SaaS vendor is right for your business. In part one, I talked about principles around data privacy that your business should consider and…

5 Tips To Secure your Data: Security For SaaS Applications Part 2

By Tricia Dunlap

Subscribe to our YouTube channel Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~3-4 minute read 5 Tips To Secure Your Data: Security For SaaS Applications Let’s talk about security for SaaS applications and its role in choosing a SaaS vendor. This is part two of a three part series on choosing a SaaS vendor because it’s fairly complicated. If…

5 Employee Discrimination Notes During COVID-19

By Tricia Dunlap

https://youtu.be/LC-9qQoFdOs Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~2 minute read Employee Discrimination: What To Do and What Not To Do As a business owner, I imagine that you have worked long and hard to create a productive, inclusive, and empowering culture for your employees. It’s really important, as you come back to work after the COVID-19 crisis, that…

Shood Gives Shoes to VCU Healthcare Professionals

By Joseph Radigan

Dunlap Law strives to build a better business community in Richmond. Small businesses are vital to the success of the rest of the community. They create more opportunities for local growth and prosperity. Dunlap Law is proud to help companies like Shood that focus on strengthening the Richmond community and provide for those in need.…

Part 2 Reopening Your Business After Coronavirus

By Tricia Dunlap

Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~5-6 minute read Reopen Your Business You as a business owner need to think about how you prepare to reopen your business following COVID-19. In part one of this series I talked about operational and administrative control issues that you need to think through. In this post, we go into personal protective…

Part 1 Reopening Your Business After Coronavirus

By Tricia Dunlap

Tricia Dunlap, Esq. ~3 minute read Reopening Your Business After Coronavirus There are four issues that every business owner needs to consider as you prepare to reopen after the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll talk about two in this post and then in the next post, we’ll talk about the other two issues. 1. Operational Controls First,…

DOL’s Q & A on the FFCRA

By Tricia Dunlap

Tricia Dunlap, Esq. Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers The following Q & A is from the Department of Labor, reposted here for the convenience of small business owners seeking help with issues related to the coronavirus.  You can also access DOL’s slides from a recent webinar on the FFCRA, here. For information…

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice FAQ

By Tricia Dunlap

~5 minute read This post is from the Department of Labor (DOL). If you would like to see more, continue reading or go here. Download the poster from the DOL. Where do I post this notice? Since most of my workforce is teleworking, where do I electronically “post” this notice?Each covered employer must post a…

Small Business Owner? Here’s Your Coronavirus Survival Guide.

By Tricia Dunlap

~5 minute read Tricia Dunlap, Esq. CIPP/US This post will see periodic updates as more resources and information become available. Sign up for alerts on updates. Every small business owner is struggling to navigate a very uncertain world right now.  We compiled and continually update this list of resources that can serve as the coronavirus…

Washington D.C. COVID-19 Emergency Legislation: Impact on Small Business

By Tricia Dunlap

~4 minute read COVID-19 Response Emergency Act On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Washington, D.C. City Council enacted the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. This new legislation expanded unemployment compensation benefits, increased job-protected leave for D.C. workers, deferred sales tax payments, and created a micro-grant program to assist recovery for D.C.-based businesses and D.C. employees.…

Bill 10, Give 1 Entrepreneur Spotlight: Smoke & Soul BBQ & Catering

By Tricia Dunlap

Business Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Mario Harris is a passionate business owner and chef of Smoke & Soul BBQ & Catering, a soon-to-be-open business in Richmond, VA. Dunlap Law is proud to celebrate and serve small businesses and entrepreneurs like Mario with services through our Bill Ten, Give One program.  What Inspired You To Start Smoke…

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Contract Review Lawyer

By Tricia Dunlap

By Tricia Dunlap (Esq. & CIPP/US) As a business owner, you sign contracts every day. How many times have you thought, “maybe I should have this contract reviewed by a lawyer?” When it comes to important legal documents, hiring a contract review lawyer is money well spent. Consider the costly (and sometimes catastrophic) mistakes that often result when business owners agree to a…

RVA Entrepreneur Spotlight: “Santa” Bob Saintsing

By Tricia Dunlap

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. His name is Santa Bob Saintsing and he’s the official Santa for the City of Richmond. From the Tobacco Company to the 17th Street Market, Santa Bob Saintsing is making his rounds. But last year, things weren’t so cheery when grinchy competitors threatened his business, A Santa for…

Prepare for the CCPA: A 4-Step Plan for Virginia Businesses

By Tricia Dunlap

By Tricia Dunlap (Esq. & CIPP/US) and Tess Lynch (J.D. 2019 & CIPP/US) Start with these four steps to prepare for the CCPA and ensure your Virginia Business is in compliance. If you’ve read our last blog, you know the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) could impact your business, even if you’re not based in California. Enforcement begins July 1, 2020,…

Virginia Lawyers and Cybersecurity: What Do The Rules Say?

By Tricia Dunlap

Even if you’re not a lawyer, you should understand cybersecurity best practices. I rarely appear in court anymore and I no longer do any family law work (not that I did much to begin with). But last fall, an old case resurrected itself when opposing counsel filed a motion to reopen child custody and support…

4 SaaS Security Best Practices

By Tricia Dunlap

What Is SaaS? Over the past five years, Software as a Service (SaaS) products saw steady growth. Their increasing rate of adoption and innovation is exciting but can also serve as a cause for concern. SaaS products range from widely spread and universally helpful products like Gmail, Microsoft Word, or Zoom to more niche products…

How Two Floods Led to Dunlap Law

By Tricia Dunlap

In August of 2007, as the summer sun faded behind the mountains, my dear friend Peri sandbagged me.   “What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do that you’ll die without doing?”   I was 38 years old. Eleven years into a teaching career. Five years into single motherhood with eight more to go. I…

Part 2 An LLC Operating Agreement –  Essential to Success

By Tricia Dunlap

Tricia Dunlap Esq. ~4 minute read If your small business is structured as a limited liability company (LLC), then the cornerstone of your success is a well-written and signed operating agreement (OA). Single member LLCs are no exception. This post is #2 in our LLC Education Series:  What Exactly IS a LLC, Anyway?  Operating Agreements – Essential to…

Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? Not so fast.

By Tricia Dunlap

In the roughly twenty years since it emerged, the limited liability company (LLC) has become the small business owner’s darling.  There are good reasons for that. LLC’s are fast, easy, and cheap to set up – often, filling out a standard form and paying the filing fee are all that’s required.  Once set up, the…

Part 1 What Exactly is an LLC, Anyway?

By Tricia Dunlap

  ~2 minute read See more videos and blog posts Part 1 – LLC Education Series  What is an LLC Business, Anyway? First, a little bit of simplified history helps explain the context around LLC’s.  I know.  Bear with me. Before LLC’s emerged in the late 1990’s, businesses generally fell into two categories:  corporations and “unincorporated…

Starting a Side Hustle From Home? 3 Things to Consider

By Tricia Dunlap

Starting a Side Hustle From Home Whether you dream of having your own startup and leaping off the corporate treadmill or just making some extra coin, starting a side hustle from home is one proven method to achieve your goals. Running a side hustle from home is especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic and keeps…

Sustainability and the C-Suite

By Tricia Dunlap

In general, C-suite leaders care about two groups:  customers and shareholders.   Traditionally, the soft, story-focused, intangible sustainability or corporate social responsibility report targeted customers.  While it might include some metrics and performance targets, its primary goal was to communicate with customers, helping them see a brand as more well-rounded and identify with that brand’s…

SASB Standards: Especially Useful for Privately-Held Companies

By Tricia Dunlap

5 Reasons Why Privately-held Companies Should Incorporate SASB Metrics Into Benchmarking & Strategy   1) Cut Through the Noise:  Not every sustainability issue is material to every company. Because SASB standards are research-based and founded on evidence of financial or operational impact in a given industry, every company can use them to cut through the noise…

SRI, ESG: Not the Same Approach to Sustainability Investing

By Tricia Dunlap

Lets clear up one misconception. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environmental-Social-Governance Investing (ESG) are not the same thing.   True, they are kissing cousins which prioritize sustainability and sometimes even people working in this niche conflate the two.  Both methods are founded on two core ideas: Some equities are better investments than others, and “Better”…