Play 12, “It’s Time to Break Up, LLC Edition Offensive Strategies.”

Welcome to another week’s Play from my Small Business Legal Playbook. I hope the tips are helpful to you and your business, as these Plays are specially designed to give you a little insight on the legal side of running a small business. Today’s Play, “It’s Time to Break Up, LLC Edition” involves something most of my clients never expected to do: end a business relationship with their business partner. So, what are the strategies I can recommend? First, talk

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5 Elements for Your California Business Formation Checklist

Are you starting a new business in the state of California? There is a lot for first-time business owners to remember, so here are five things to add to your checklist to help you get started. #1 Develop a Business Plan This can be a daunting task for a first-time business owner. If you don’t know where to begin, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website. Registering an account will open you up to many resources the SBA offers

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3 Biggest Misconceptions About Incorporating a Business

Incorporating your small business can have great benefits when it comes to everything from separating your business and personal assets to minimizing how much you personally owe in taxes. However, there are some serious misconceptions about what incorporating involves. Here are three myths about incorporating a small business in California. Myth #1: Incorporating Your Business Means Zero Personal Liability Incorporating can help protect your personal assets. If the business is on the hook for a huge loan and can’t pay,

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Business Formation Advice – Choosing a Business Type

If you are starting a new business, you have to make some basic decisions about how the company will be set up. For example, some small business owners just want to maintain a sole proprietorship in order to keep things simple. While this involves the least paperwork, it subjects your income to the self-employment tax, which is a little over 15%, and it also leaves you personally liable for the company’s debts. Thus, many small business owners choose to incorporate.

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Protecting Your Business in CA, Where Non-Compete Agreements Are Banned

California is one of 4 states that has banned non-compete agreements. What is a non-compete agreement? Why are they banned in California? How can you protect your company’s intellectual property without a non-compete agreement? Here is what you need to know. What Is a Non-Compete Agreement? A non-compete agreement is a business contract designed to keep former employees and others with whom a business has dealings from entering into direct competition. At first, this seems like a protection, especially for

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Intellectual Property Is the Lifeblood of Your Business

What is intellectual property? Basically, this term refers to any creative ideas an individual comes up with. From a written document to a new invention or a software application, intellectual property spans the entire range of creative and artistic works. Why is intellectual property so important to your business? This is what gives you a competitive edge, especially when a business is competing against much larger or well-establish companies in the same industry. Everything from the right slogan to the

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Why You Need to Have an Invention Assignment Agreement with Your Programmers

When it comes to protecting your intellectual property (IP), there are many business contracts and agreements that need to be addressed. One of the most important is an Invention Assignment Agreement, especially if you have someone else coding key applications for your company. Here are 2 important reasons why. 1. Avoid Ownership Issues When a patent is applied for, it has to be done in the name of the inventor. That means a separate agreement needs to exist between you

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Should Your Small Business Incorporate?

Most small businesses start out by operating as a sole proprietorship. You may have filed for a fictitious business name (called a DBA in some states) so that no one else can use your business name and you can do things like setting up a bank account in your company’s name. However, there are many advantages to taking the next step and incorporating, especially as your business begins to grow. 3 Reasons to Incorporate Consider the following 3 benefits of

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Small Business Legal Playbook|Play #11: “The Escape Strategy”

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 11 is titled “The Escape Strategy.” No one likes to start thinking about leaving a business when they’re just starting one. We’ve spoken in weeks past, in previous Plays about several different topics. This week, we’ll discuss an issue with creating an exit strategy for your stake in a business. So how do you make sure which exit strategy is best? Why do you even need an exit

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Small Business Legal Playbook|Play #10: “The Trademark”

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 10 is titled “The Trademark.” A lot of great ideas for prospective businesses come through my door, and many of them base their first business plans on a trademark. Securing that trademark is considered one of the first steps to success. Of the steps to success, the trademark application is one of the most confusing issues for a small business owner. How can I trademark my name? Is

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