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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Small Business Legal Playbook|Play #9: “The Dreaded Coin-Flip”

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 9 is titled “The Dreaded Coin-Flip.” All fans in the NFL dread the coin-flip, especially in over-time. If your team calls the flip correctly, it can be the difference between winning and losing. We spoke last week about the unique issues family owned small businesses face, in terms of external issues. Well what about the unique internal issues a family owned small business might face, especially when you

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Small Business Legal Playbook|Play #8: “Family Business”

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 8 is titled “Family Business.” In some sports, the franchises are owned by families. There’s no better example than in the NFL, where many teams are owned and controlled by single families. Sure, it’s on a different scale from a start-up, but even family owned NFL organizations suffer from the same pitfalls that a small family owned business experiences. In fact, family owned businesses, both large and small

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Small Business Legal Playbook|Play #7: “Overtime”

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 7 is titled “Overtime.” In some sports, overtime means sudden death, and whoever scores next wins the game. In the NFL, whoever gets the ball first in overtime knows exactly what they need to do to win the game. If they score a touchdown, the game is over. Just like the NFL, making a mistake in overtime in regards to your business can mean game over, and a

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Play 6: Arbitration Clauses

Welcome back to another week of the Small Business Legal Playbook! Play 6 is titled “Arbitration.” In some sports, arbitration means that the players and the teams agree ahead of time to allow a neutral third party to decide on the merits of the case, and they agree to be bound by the results. In the NFL, if a player disagrees with the league, they can ask for an arbitrator to hear their case and rule accordingly. The same thing

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Play #5: “The Employment Agreement”

In football, it seems clear who the employees are, and who the employers are, and everything is out in the open. Unlike at your business, where your employees don’t know what their peers are making, everything is out in the open in the NFL. Everyone knows how much everyone else is making, from the rookies, to the star quarterbacks. But one thing that NFL Players and your employees should have in common is an easy to read, easy to understand,

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Play #4: The Forum Selection

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. People enter contracts on almost every day of their lives, often without realizing what they are agreeing to could be considered a contract. That may include clicking the “I Accept” button on a user agreement while installing

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