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Corporate Law

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by Stephen F. Aton

Millions of people now have access to the Internet, and information is available on almost any topic. Corporate sites abound on the Internet, and while some of them are of marginal utility, 10 of the most useful sites are described below, complete with addresses.

Many of the sites have links to other sites of interest to business owners and entrepreneurs.

1. The Missouri Judiciary may be found at

http://www.osca.state.mo.US/.

The site has full text opinions of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri, as well as the cases for the Missouri Appellate Courts. While most of the cases are recent, older cases will later be added. It is a good site to check the trends in corporate law.

2. The Missouri House of Representatives also has a useful site at

http://www.state.mo.us/home.htm.

The best feature is the summary and full copies of bills that have been introduced into theÊlegislature. When the legislature is in session, you can track a bill to see if it is stuck in committee or has a chance to be enacted into law.

It is no longer necessary to call a governmental office in Jefferson City or seek help from your congressman. With this site, you will quickly have the latest information.

3.The Missouri Senate, like the House, has a site, located at

http://www.senate.state.mo.us/index/htm.

A list of Senate bills, complete with tracking information, as well as the Senate's calendar, are available.

4.The Missouri Revised Statutes are available online at

http://www.moga.state.mo.us/homestat.htm.

There is a search engine which allows you to call up a particular statute, or to browse by use of a keyword.

The search engine sometimes casts a very broad net, but with a little persistence, you will find what you are looking for. The site is very handy when you do not have ready access to the complete set of laws.

5. Corporate law is heavily driven by tax law. Not only state law, but also federal law, has an immense impact on the way business and commerce work. The complete Internal Revenue Code is available at

http://www.fourmilab.ch/ustax/TaxSearch.html.

The search engine can help direct you to a particular issue, or it is sometimes more helpful to look at the index and click on the right section heading and search manually. Links to other sites are also provided.

6. Law journals are helpful in reviewing recent commentary on corporate issues. The site located at the following address is helpful:

http://www.ljx.com/practice/corporate/index.html.

Articles, memos written by lawyers, breaking corporate news and more is available. Other areas of the law are also provided.

7. If you are looking for a business to purchase, check out

http://www.bizsell.com.

There are categories for different types of businesses and geographic search engines. You can look for manufacturing businesses for sale in southwest Missouri, or in other parts of the country.

8. For corporate entrepreneurs, go to

http://www.entrepreneurmag.com.

Hosted by Entrepreneur Magazine, you can easily spend an hour looking at this site. Tips on growing your business, hiring employees and choosing a start-up company are supplied. The site is regularly updated.

9. The Missouri Secretary of State's Office has a site useful to businesses at

http://www.mosl.sos.state.mo.us/.

The Missouri corporate and business forms necessary to form an entity are available, as well as information on the filing fees, the Missouri franchise tax, the UCC and a corporate database.

10. Lawyers Weekly, a legal periodical, also has a site at

http://www.weekly.com/molaw.htm.

Headlines, an article of the week and the most popularly requested court opinions are featured.

If none of the above corporate and business sites contain what you are seeking, any of the major search engines can guide you to your destination.

(Stephen F. Aton is a Springfield attorney practicing in the areas of corporate law and taxation, real estate and estate planning.)

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