Main Menu Back to Page
{ Banner Image }

Showing 6 posts from 2014.

Tax reporting – not at all Merry, but very Necessary!

It is a sign of success that a designer has more work than they can do for themselves. If you reached that level of success in 2014 – Congratulations! However, your success came with responsibilities to include tax reporting, and Fosterfashion will ring out 2014 by offering this quick reminder.   

If you employed anyone in 2014, W-2 statements must be provided to your employees by January 31, 2015. If you are new to the role of “employer,” W-2 statements document income earned by employees, in the form of wages, tips and commissions earned in 2014, as well the as total amounts of state, federal and FICA taxes withheld by the employer.

If you paid an independent contractor $600 or more in 2014, they need to receive a 1099 form from you by January 31, 2015. A 1099 form states the amount you paid to your independent contractor. Where there is no “withholding,” it is the responsibility of the worker to report this income and pay appropriate taxes. Read More ›

Categories: Fashion, Tax

A Good LLC Operating Agreement Can Avoid a Really Bad Court Case

Many of the designers that I counsel have formed limited liability companies (LLCs).  While this is a great first step in your life as an entrepreneur, have you addressed what will happen if … a member of the LLC wants out, files bankruptcy, or fails to make a required capital contribution?  What if your co-member is also an employee and you need to terminate their employment?  These and other “triggering events” need to be addressed in an operating agreement.  As the title to the linked article aptly explains, A Good LLC Operating Agreement Can Avoid a Really Bad Court Case.  If you formed a multi-member LLC, or you don’t plan to be a sole member LLC forever, please read the linked article written by my partner Andy Vredenburg. The benefits of having a good operating agreement are well worth the modest attorney fees that you will incur. Deanna

Categories: Entity Planning, Fashion

Get it in Writing

If you are a designer you have ideas, you have talents, and you are very comfortable with do-it-yourself projects. But should you take the DIY route when you are entering into a contract? Why even bother to have a written agreement if you are dealing with someone that you trust? A written agreement is always a good idea – read on! Deanna Read More ›

Categories: Contracts

Don’t Men Wear Pantsuits?

PantsuitWhen we introduced this blog, we informed our readers that we will occasionally depart from the law and legal developments to inject our personal views on the intersection of fashion and culture. This post is purely personal commentary on fashion and culture.  Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to comment, -Deanna

At the risk of injecting a little politics, let’s talk about “the pantsuit.” I do my best to avoid Bill O’Reilly. I never like what he has to say, or even hearing his voice. He recently popped up when I was channel surfing, and a comment that he made regarding Hilary Rodham Clinton got my attention. O’Reilly was sure (he is always sure) that Clinton is buying truckloads of “pantsuits” in preparation for a campaign. I started thinking about the frequent, at least mildly derogative reference to Clinton’s “pantsuits.” I have purchased more than a few suits, some with pants, yet I’ve never set out to buy “a pantsuit.” Why, from the prospective of a professional woman, is it just a suit … maybe a suit with a skirt or a suit with pants, or maybe both, but just a suit? Guys wear suits with pants, and we just call them “suits.” But when a woman has political ambition she is called out for wearing a “pantsuit”? Read More ›

Categories: Fashion

Financing the Creative

It is time to turn around the phrase “creative financing” to consider financing the creative. Lansing Michigan’s newest incubator, The Runway, opened in October. At The Runway, twelve fashion designers are learning how to get their creative ideas to market and move their fledgling Michigan business to the next level. When The Runway’s designers and other members of Michigan’s creative class look for ways to finance their vision, what should they expect?

They can expect to face an uphill challenge if they walk into their local bank and seek traditional financing. Ideally a designer has no inventory – they produce to meet purchase orders and place goods in the hands of the retailer as quickly as possible. A designer is not likely to own valuable equipment. The value of the new designer’s trademark is nominal. Valuation of a “fashion business” is difficult, even in an established market. In New York City, home to a very well-established fashion industry, only designers with two or more years of successful production could hope to obtain a traditional loan.

So the creative need to be creative about their financing, early in their career. As a result, my conversations with newly minted designers, professors and industry experts at Fordham Law’s Fashion Institute’s 2014 Summer Intensive Program frequently turned to non-traditional financing. Three sources of non-traditional financing are of particular interest to a fledgling designer: crowdfunding; loans from family or friends; and factoring.

Read the full article here>

Categories: Crowdfunding, Financing

Foster Swift Obtains Unanimous Jury Verdict against Competitor Manufacturer and Sales Agent in Federal Trademark Law and Unfair Competition Case

Foster Swift is pleased to share news of its success in federal court, representing a manufacturer whose patterns, vendor pricing list and raw materials sourcing were misappropriated by a former production manager and former outside sales agent.  If you have suffered such a loss at the hands of a former employee or sales agent, or if you wish to discuss protecting your proprietary information, please contact us.  – Deanna Swisher                  

A federal court jury in Detroit unanimously found in favor of Foster Swift’s client, an internationally recognized manufacturer of custom sports equipment. The complaint in the case alleged that the client’s former production manager and former outside sales agent, while still engaged by the client, had established a directly competing manufacturing and sales business, in breach of their fiduciary duties and duties of loyalty. The complaint also alleged violations of federal trademark law (false designation of origin), unfair competition and civil conspiracy. After a ten day trial in September 2014, the jury awarded Foster Swift’s client substantial monetary damages against the individual defendants, and against entities that each of them had formed, upon hearing evidence that they had misappropriated and used the client's corporate name, manufacturing patterns, vendor pricing lists and raw materials to establish their competing enterprise. Read More ›

Categories: Contracts, Manufacturing, Trademarks