QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
I have multiple startup ideas
Work on the one that will cause the most immediate, concrete improvement in users' lives. Don't worry too much at first about competitors, or how users will find out about it, or how to make money. But don't work on something that's going to take ten years, either. (In technology, ten years rounds up to never.)
What is the maximum term of a board member of a joint stock company?
If the board of directors is appointed in the articles of association, the maximum duration of its term is 5 years. If the board of directors is elected by the shareholders, the maximum duration of its term is 3 years.
Are there any goods or services for which the trademark cannot be registered?
No, there is not.
How should the general assembly of partners be convened?
The director(s) should convene the partners to the meeting. If the director(s) neglect to convene the assembly, the auditors, if any, may take such measure. Otherwise, the invitation should be sent through a partner or group of partners that represent (i) a quarter of the capital and a quarter of the number of partners, or (ii) half the capital at least.
The assembly should be convened through publication in newspapers or invitations sent by registered mail to the partners with the agenda, one month before the scheduled meeting.
Are judicial decisions protected by copyright law?
No, they are not.
What is a tag-along clause?
The tag along clause provides that if a shareholder offers to sell a specified percentage of the shares in the company to a third party, such shareholder should procure that the third party makes the same pro rata offer to acquire the shares of the remaining shareholders.
How long does it take to establish a representative office in Lebanon?
The approximate time needed to establish a representative office in Lebanon is 3 working days.
What is the procedure to register a domain name in Lebanon?
To register a domain name in the Lebanese Domain Registry LB-DOM, it is mandatory to trademark the exact domain name that the applicant is requesting at the Lebanese IP Protection Office under class 35. The trademark certificate should reflect the exact domain name in Latin characters, covering the Internet advertising and use in class 35. For (XYZ.com.lb), the trademark "XYZ" should be registered.
In Lebanon, can I withdraw the amount paid for the share capital of the joint stock company after its incorporation?
Yes, the capital amount paid by the shareholders can be withdrawn after the company is formed and registered in the commercial register to be used as working capital.
How should my co-founders and I split up the company equity?
This is a question that needs to be answered on a case-by-case basis. It is generally not advisable to make an even 50/50 split, as it can lead to a lack of control and motivation. Have an honest, open discussion and don’t be selfish. This conversation needs to be held early, and put into writing.
Can the first user of a patent claim priority of use under the Paris Convention?
Yes, the first user of a patent can claim priority of use under the Paris Convention.
What are the advantages of incorporating an offshore company?
The advantages of incorporating an offshore company are:
• Tax saving and tax exemptions
• Effortless business administration
• Full ownership for non-Lebanese
• Limited liability of relevant shareholders
• Non-Lebanese chairman or general manager does not require a work permit if residing out-side Lebanon
• Non-Lebanese employees are exempt from work permits provided that the total balance sheet of the company exceeds USD 6,667,000
How are shares held in a startup?
VC-backed startups almost always issue two classes of stock: common and preferred.
The common stock is held by the founders, employees, angel investors and, in certain cases, strategic partners and third-party service providers.
The preferred stock is held by venture capitals (VCs), who invest in startups almost exclusively through this type of security. In fact, most venture-backed startups issue a new series of preferred stock for each round of financing.
How can I transfer my shares in a joint stock company?
In principle, the transfer of shares in a joint stock company to third parties is free from any restrictions, unless the company's bylaws provide for restrictions such as preemptive rights to existing shareholders. Such transfer takes approximately two to three business days and is not subject to a tax on the capital gains, except when the seller of the shares is a company.
Are artistic folkloric works protected by copyright law?
No, they are not.
What is a patent?
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. It can be a utility patent (machines, engines, apparel), a design patent (ornamental design for an object), a method patent (a new way to do a business process, a surgery), or a new plant variety (unknown kind of plants).