When your business is near the point of beginning operations, it is important to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate a business. Other than licenses, etc. for certain businesses such as restaurants, cosmetologists, etc. the necessary licenses and permits are listed below. Even though the business is operating out of a home, licenses and tax ID numbers, etc. are required.
At first glance, it looks like there may actually be an end to all those Viagra, weight loss and sexual enhancement ads that appear in your inbox each morning. Just four months after the new CAN-SPAM law was enacted, the first spammers were arrested. The four Michigan men are accused of operating an Internet scam involving the sale of fraudulent weight-loss products, sexual aids and herbal supplements through millions of unsolicited emails.
1. The first thing to do with a new idea is to get a patent.
Wrong. Mere ideas are not patentable. Only useful products and processes can be patented, and you have to be able to describe it with such completeness as to enable others to make or practice and use it.
Learn alternative methods to settling business disputes.
1. Consider adopting an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program as a way to resolve employer-employee conflicts. It can be less costly and time-consuming than litigation.
2. Understand that ADR uses such tools as mediation and arbitration and is conducted in private.
3. To find help in setting up an ADR program, look in the Yellow Pages under “Mediation Services.” Ask other small business owners or your local chamber of commerce for referrals.
Tips to read before obtaining a patent.
1. If your company has an invention that you think is patentable, take steps at once. You may lose your right to patent it if you offer it for sale or disclose it publicly without patent protection.
2. Make sure your product or invention is not infringing on someone else’s patent. Your library can help you conduct a patents search.
3. Be prepared to establish the novelty of your idea. Keep good records of its development—including dates, drawings, etc.—and round up witnesses.
Protect your business from employee lawsuits.
1. Obey the laws regarding employees. Don’t discriminate in hiring, for example, or permit sexual harassment.
2. Hire carefully. Look for people with a strong work ethic and avoid hiring those who feel life owes them something.
3. Adopt strong employment policies. Communicate them clearly to employees and enforce them.
4. Keep good records on employee mistakes, even when they’re not firing offenses. Document your own actions and the reasons behind your employment decisions.
5. Consider buying employment-practices liability insurance (EPLI).
Suggestions to protect your small business from legal action
1. A policy which states that the company is an equal opportunity employer and strongly enforces a nondiscrimination policy.
2. A strong sexual harassment policy detailing what is not accepted at your place of business.
3. A policy about phone and/or email communications.
4. Expectations of employees.
5. Include how your company plans to monitor or take action on all of the stated policies.
Keep your business out of legal hassles and headaches.
1. Arm yourself with basic knowledge of business law so that you’re alert to your company’s obligations and rights.
2. Practice prevention. Have your attorney review contracts and agreements before they’re signed.
3. Get your attorney’s opinions on documents you have drafted—such as employee policies—before you put them in place. You want to make sure they meet the requirements of the law.
Any business considering a lease must pay close attention to the critical Issues described in this document. Signing a lease (or rental contract) is one of the most significant financial commitments a company can make. The financial liability defined by a lease lasts the lifetime of the lease, typically three to five years. For this reason alone, a poorly negotiated rental contract can bury a business.