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Important Legal Topics to Know About in 2023

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” Alexander Graham Bell

Our Goosmann Law business and litigation attorneys came together to create a list of the top legal topics to know about in 2023. Many things are on the horizon for this year and the Goosmann Law Firm team is ready to walk through the year with you and assist you with your legal needs along the way.

2023 Farm Bill:

This year will be a big year for those in the ag industry as the new 2023 Farm Bill will be imposed. 2023 marks the 90th anniversary of the original Farm Bill that was passed in 1933 to get farmers through the Great Depression. Each restatement of the bill is different and there is no fixed format for the bill. The 2018 Bill is comprised of twelve different titles that governs a substantial range of agricultural and food-related programs.

Stay tuned for more blogs from us about the 2023 Farm Bill in the coming months.

New Iowa Tax Law to Benefit Farmers:

In March 2022 Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed new tax law that will provide exemptions from Iowa tax for most forms of retirement income, including retired farmer rental income.

Beginning this year, the new Iowa law requires retired farmers to elect between:

(1) excluding eligible farm rental income or;

(2) excluding eligible capital gain from Iowa taxation.

Once they make an election it cannot be changed. A retired farmer who has excluded farm rental income from Iowa taxation, for example, may not ever take the Iowa capital gain deduction.

IP Litigation:

Can a computer be an artist? One hot issue to keep an eye on in 2023 would be related to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creating copyrighted works. There has been some debate over whether a computer could be an author. But, more particularly, the issue will likely center around how much input/direction from the human is needed for the human to receive a copyright in a piece of work (written or artistic) that is produced by artificial intelligence. One big thing that has hit the news recently is related to ChatGPT, which is an AI that can supposedly write student essays. Another related new article is related to an individual who won a state fair’s art competition, using a picture created through the use of AI.

Inflation Impact on Business

One issue that will have a big impact on the business world in the United States in 2023 is inflation. The raising prices of items purchased from vendors and providers will certainly cause companies to raise their own prices to consumers, but what impact will that have on the companies bottom line? Also, will this allow the companies to increase their prices so much that they can raise their own income despite their higher vendor costs? What impact will this have on consumers purchasing the same goods that they were before inflation began raising prices? Finally, will salaries and wages rise as well? If salaries and wages are required to rise so that companies can maintain their employees, what impact will that have on their businesses?

These are common questions many business leaders will be presented with in 2023 and Goosmann Law Firm business attorneys are ready to help you tread to waters of inflation.

Data Security Concerns for Employers:

Data Security will continue to be a major concern for employers in 2023. Given the proposed restrictions on noncompete agreements at the federal level, it will be more important for employers to protect intellectual property, trade secrets, and other confidential information with appropriate employee handbook provisions, standalone confidentiality agreements, or employment agreements for certain positions. In addition, the remote workplace continues to evolve, with hybrid options becoming more and more common. Those arrangements lead to employees having offsite access to information that would be subject to formal protection in the workplace, but vulnerable to inadvertent or other disclosure in remote settings such as an employee’s dining room table, or the local coffee shop. Setting technical safeguards and establishing clear policies will help employers mitigate these risks.

The Corporate Transparency Act

The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) enacted into law in January 2021 will have substantial effects on business owners, trustees, and professionals when it goes into effect on January 1, 2024. The final rules released by FinCEN have provided additional details regarding beneficial ownership reporting required under the act.

Under the final rules, reporting companies, which include corporations, limited liability companies, and other similar entities, will be required to file reports with FinCEN identifying and providing certain information regarding all beneficial owners of the company. Such beneficial owner will include any individuals who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship, or otherwise exercise substantial control over the company or own or control 25% or more of the ownership interest in the company.

This broad definition will likely include owners, trustees, managers, and others involved in the ownership and management of the company. Moreover, such beneficial owners will be required to report information such as their full legal name, date of birth, and residential or business address.

Finally, any changes to the beneficial ownership of a company will need to be reported on an ongoing basis. Given that the fines for failing to report the information required under the CTA include fines up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison, it will be important to ensure that appropriate compliance with the rule is maintained as part of the ongoing maintenance of the company’s books and other regulatory and tax reporting requirements.

Prevent future legal problems in 2023 and contact our firm today for your legal needs at 855-909-4442.