Legal Issues

A Registered Agent is a person who receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of a business, including important mail sent by the state — such as annual reports or statements and tax documents. A Registered Agent also receives Service of Process — sometimes called Notice of Litigation — which initiates a lawsuit. Appointing a Registered Agent is a state requirement no matter where you’ve chosen to form your business.

For a general overview on what a Registered Agent is and the role they serve, read What is a Registered Agent?

Filing a Change in Your Business

Pretty much anytime you make a change to your LLC or corporation, the state you formed your company in requires some type of official business filing, or Amendment, to make it official. What constitutes as a change that requires an Amendment varies from state-to-state but a good rule of thumb is when any information that is included in your company’s Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization or Certificate of Authority (for Foreign Qualifications) changes, you typically need to file an Article of Amendment to update your information with the state(s) you do business in. This can include changing your principle office address or updating your director or member names.

For an overview on Amendments, go to: Amendment Filing Service.

Depending on your small business type, you may need to file for licenses or permits with the state, or states, in which you do business.

Nearly all businesses require some form of federal, state or local business licenses.

Obtaining the licenses or permits you need for your business is an excellent way to help keep your company compliant (in good standing) with the state. But before you can apply for them, you’ll need insight into federal, state and local licenses — as well as permit types and zoning requirements.

For a clear and concise overview read Understanding Business Licenses.

Obtaining a “Doing Business As” (DBA) allows a person to legally conduct business under a name that is not the legal name of the person who owns, or is legally responsible for, the business. A DBA enables a business to advertise, accept payments and operate under a fictitious name without creating a new legal entity such as an LLC or corporation. There are many reasons why a DBA filing may be a good choice for a company.

For an overview of what a DBA is, why you might want to file for one and how to file for a DBA read When to File a DBA.

A trademark is a symbol that distinguishes products and services in the marketplace. It can protect intellectual property, a brand name, a design, or can be applied to a business, product or used in connection with specific services. Trademark law protects you, the owner, from competitors stealing your identity or using a name or symbol so similar that it could cause confusion for your clients or customers. It’s important to gain a good understanding of trademarks in order to determine whether or not you need one.

For an overview of what trademark protection, trademark registration and the two main forms of trademark search — online and comprehensive are, read What is a Trademark?

SCORE has compiled this list of useful resources for matters concerning small business legal issues.

As a small business owner, you are subject to the same regulations as large corporations.  Review information on a number of topics including advertising law, immigration law, privacy law, and workplace safety & health.

Hispanic Unity & Broward SCORE graduate the first group from the Pasos Sencillos Para Iniciar Su Negocio series of workshops

Tue, 2012-03-20 07:15

George Gremse

In collaboration with Hispanic Unity of South Florida, Broward SCORE is happy to announce the completion of its first Spanish language program. Broward SCORE mentors Carlos Ayala and Ernie Cevallos SCORE translated the 5 workshop series Simple Steps for Starting Your Business and led the workshops in Spanish. They were supported by Score mentor Hector Arrillaga.


Kim Ima, owns TreatsTruck, an environmentally focused mobile NYC bakery. Kim acknowledged Elliot Merberg's (SCORE counselor)financial guidance and support while obtaining the many NYC licenses and permits needed to sell her baked goods on the street from a compressed natural gas (CNG) powered truck.

Kim Ima

An advisory board is an informal group of outside advisors with no legal responsibilities to the company except for a formal non-disclosure and a non-compete agreement.

An advisory board is an informal group of outside advisors with no legal responsibilities to the company except for a formal non-disclosure and a non-compete agreement. Most often members of an advisory board have no financial interest in the firm and may receive a nominal honorarium for serving on the advisory board.

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