Tag Archive: small business

Listing Your Property on AirBnb? Meet the New Massachusetts Short-Term Rental Law

July 1, 2019 8:00 am Published by Stephen M. Roche

As short-term rental platforms like AirBnb, HomeAway, and VRBO have grown in popularity, neighborhoods and cities have borne the impacts of increased tourism. Problems include more traffic, noise, and disruptive behavior; loss of affordable housing units, as landlords develop properties for lucrative short-term rentals; and loss of business for the hotel industry. In response, some state and municipal governments have passed legislation to tax and regulate the phenomenon.

In December 2018, Massachusetts passed its own version of such legislation: An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals, which not only regulates, but also taxes short-term rentals, The new law takes effect on Monday, July 1, 2019.

If you currently are renting your property on a short-term ...

Tiptoe Through the Orchard: What You Should Know About the Massachusetts Pick-Your-Own Law

June 13, 2019 8:48 am Published by Robin A. DeAugustinis

Trees are in full leaf, flowers are blooming, and the Commonwealth’s orchards will soon bear fruit. It’s almost time to visit a pick-your-own produce farm for berries and peaches this summer. The pick-your-own season stretches well into the fall, with harvests of apples and pumpkins, and, for some, holiday trees as winter nears. After such a rainy spring, it’s a welcomed pleasure, at last, not only to enjoy the seasonal weather, but also to select your own produce in a natural setting.

As much fun as an outing to the orchard can be, however, it’s important to be considerate guests—treating the grounds, plants, and people with respect for their wellbeing—and to be alert to risks of accidents. The ground ...

Own a Business? Five Things You Should Know About Employees and Election Day

November 2, 2018 3:14 pm Published by Paul C. Foley

It’s almost Election Day, and you own a business in Massachusetts. You know you’ll have time to cast your vote before the polls close at 8:00 p.m. But what about your employees? If an employee wants or needs to vote during the work day, what are his or her rights?

Here are five things that you, as the employer, should know:

  1. There is no federal law that requires you to give your employees time off to vote. Massachusetts law, on the other hand, does give employees certain rights regarding voting during the work day, but only if you are in the manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile industry.
  2. Massachusetts law requires an employer to allow an
  3. ...

Close Corporations: A Cautionary Tale of Misplaced Trust and Fiduciary Failings

September 23, 2016 8:52 am Published by James D. O'Brien, Jr.

Worcester made its mark in the 19th and 20th centuries as a manufacturing center, giving rise to industrial giants such as Norton Company and Wyman Gordon, many of which were owned for generations by small family groups. Home to inventors and entrepreneurs, our city has also fostered many smaller businesses, founded and operated by families or friends.

Oftentimes the stockholders, directors and officers in these “close” corporations are the same two or three people, each one performing multiple roles simultaneously in the corporate structure. Such companies play a significant role in the Commonwealth’s economy, but their very smallness creates a unique set of risks for the owners.

Close Corporation Defined

In Donahue v. Rodd Electrotype of New England, ...

Protect Your Business from a Data Breach

October 8, 2015 11:45 am Published by Paul C. Foley

Businesses of all sizes wrestle with the complex interplay of privacy rights and data security in the workplace. If you aren’t wrestling with it, then you may have already been pinned. Let’s get you up off the mat.

To illustrate the issue, let’s take an everyday situation. Suppose that a local landscaping company (“the Company”) has recently experienced a welcomed growth spurt. In response, the Company has increased its field staff and its office staff. The office staff, a total of four employees, are assigned workplaces with computers connected to a local server, with a central database of customers, scheduling, payment information, and other sensitive data.

As in many workplaces, the office is adjacent to the crew areas, and ...