Robert Hawn Appointed Chair of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar

[PRESS RELEASE] Robert Hawn was recently appointed Chair of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar for the 2014-2015 bar year. As Chair, he is responsible for managing and leading the Section.

The Business Law Section is devoted to increasing the effectiveness of business lawyers in California through education and legislative initiatives. It has approximately 8,500 members. Its efforts are led by 15 Standing Committees, which cover substantive areas ranging from Agribusiness, to Cyberspace Law. It is also the publisher of the Business Law News, which provides learned analysis of cutting edge legal issues. “It is an honor and privilege to Chair the Section. I am delighted to be joined by the extraordinary leadership team of April Frisby, Vice-Chair Programs and Publications, Isabelle Ord, Vice-Chair Legislation, Robert Harris, Vice-Chair Member Services, and Chris Passarelli, Vice-Chair Marketing and Outreach”.

Mr. Hawn is an AV rated* lawyer and a founding partner of Strategy Law, LLP, a comprehensive business and real estate law firm located in downtown San Jose. His practice focuses on Mergers and Acquisitions , Technology Transfer and Corporate matters. He is a frequent speaker at seminars on internet-related legal issues. He is a past co-chair of the State Bar of California Cyberspace Law Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section. He has also served as Chair of the Santa Clara County Bar Association High Technology Law Committee and the Advisory Committee for Innovation Center Denmark.

Tamara Pow, a founding partner at Strategy Law, LLP said, “I always loved having Bob as a resource for technology clients because of his involvement with the cyberspace law committee of the State Bar, and now I am very proud to tell people that he has also been recognized in the community as the Chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar.”

When he’s not practicing law and giving seminars, Mr. Hawn is an avid mountain biker, skier and jazz pianist.

Strategy Law, LLP is a business and real estate law firm focusing on Business and Entity Formations, Business Transactions, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships, Mergers and Acquisitions, Problem Loans and Insolvency, Real Estate, Tax Planning and Technology Transfer and E-Commerce.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

For more information on Strategy Law, LLP please go to .

Robert Hawn, Esq.
Strategy Law, LLP
(408) 478-4100

Choosing a Structure for Your Business Start-Up

One of the first decisions you must make to start your own business is which type of structure suits your needs best. It’s advisable to schedule an appointment at a corporate law firm serving San Jose. Even if you already have a basic understanding of the types of business entities, a corporate attorney can offer expert legal guidance regarding which entity is best for you. Additionally, your corporate lawyer can prepare the paperwork, provide advice on compliance issues, and help you navigate the operation of your company.

Sole Proprietorship

The simplest type of business entity is a sole proprietorship. If you own an unincorporated business, and have no co-owners or partners, then you are automatically a sole proprietor. Many small business owners begin as sole proprietors, and then later file the paperwork necessary to form another business entity. Some common areas of concern for sole proprietors include doing business under a fictitious name—which is a name other than your own—and handling tax planning issues. Your corporate attorney can help you with these matters.


If you decide to form a business with one or more individuals, then the right business structure for you may be a formal partnership. Bear in mind that partners in this business structure are not legally employees. You will not issue yourselves W-2s. Your partnership will have to file an annual information return, which is not the same as a tax return. Rather, each partner assumes profits and losses, which are reported on their individual tax returns.


A corporation, or C corporation, is an independent business entity. It is owned by its shareholders. However, the corporation—not the shareholders—is held legally liable for the accrual of any debts or adverse actions. This type of business structure is generally best suited to large companies that hire many employees, particularly since it involves very complex legal and tax issues.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

One or more individuals may own an LLC. Many entrepreneurs prefer to form an LLC because it offers the benefits of a partnership, such as flexibility with day-to-day operations, along with significant liability advantages. As with a partnership, profits and losses are passed through to the owners.

All About Misleading Certificate of Status Solicitations

If you’re starting a business in California, you’ve likely run into a number of challenges. Building a company from the ground up is difficult enough without having to deal with would-be scammers. One relatively recent scam involves the fraudulent solicitation of money for what’s known as a “Certificate of Status.” If you aren’t sure whether a form you receive in the mail is actually a required form, or is a scam of some kind, reach out to San Jose business law firm Strategy Law, LLP before responding to the solicitation.

Starting a Business in California

When starting a business in California , you first need to determine whether your business will be a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, a general partnership, or a limited liability partnership. Next, you’ll need to file the appropriate paperwork. During the course of your business, you may need to obtain a California Certificate of Status, or Certificate of Good Standing. Obtaining a Certificate of Status can help your business obtain financing, get registered in another state and enter into certain business transactions.

Spotting False Solicitations

Some businesses in California have been receiving Certificate of Status solicitations from an entity that calls itself “California State Corporations.” These solicitations request $49.50 in exchange for a certificate of status. Only the California Secretary of State’s office can issue Certificates of Status to California businesses. If you receive a false solicitation from California State Corporations, you should consider speaking with a business attorney. Business attorneys can help you file an official complaint with the California Attorney General.

Obtaining a Legitimate Certificate of Status

So you know how to avoid falling victim to a false solicitation—how do you obtain a legitimate Certificate of Status from the Secretary of State? The process is simple. All you have to do is submit a formal request with the Secretary of State by mail or in person. The fee for a legitimate Certificate of Status is $5—substantially less than the nearly $50 requested by pretenders. You can also contact your business attorney to order the Certificate of Status for you. Oftentimes, a Certificate of Status is not necessary. When you are working with an attorney, your attorney will order the Certificate for you if required as part of a business transaction.