Published Feb. 8, 2013
Q: What are limited liability companies (“LLCs”), and what should businesses know
A: LLCs are a new type of business entity that emerged in the early 1990s. They have many important legal and tax characteristics, but the key ones are these:
Liability shield. LLCs provide their owners (called “members”) with a statutory liability shield that is essentially identical to the corporate shield.
Published Jun. 1, 2012
Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, explains how and why business ideas may or may not be able to be protected.
Published May. 3, 2012
During a business start-up’s early stages, it’s really the last thing on your mind that something could happen to one of the partners (or even yourself). But if that came to be, it could put a share of the business up for grabs and everyone’s dreams at risk. Investing a little time and energy into what’s known as a buy-sell agreement can create rock-solid protections for your business in the face of life’s many changes.
What is a buy-sell agreement?
Think of it as a “business prenup” or a “business will.” Whether you’re launching with one partner or 10, the buy-sell agreement protects stakeholders from sticky situations that could rock the entire boat. Like a will or a prenup, the buy-sell agreement sets up safeguards and outlines exactly how they can be resolved for the benefit of the remaining owners and the business itself.
Published Apr. 19, 2012
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?
Published Jul. 7, 2011
Download this template to learn the ins and outs of bar and restaurant regulations.
Published Jun. 7, 2011
Commercial Lease Agreement Template
Published May. 10, 2011
Have you invented the next big thing? If so, you've got to get a patent. It protects your invention and gives you exclusivity. Read this article by Steve Strauss to understand why patents are critical to your success and how you can get one for your business.
Q: I have invented what I think is “a better mousetrap.” How do I stop someone from stealing it? Do I need a patent or maybe a trademark? - LT
Published May. 10, 2011
Got a great idea? Follow these first steps from SCORE Counselor, Alan Tratner of Santa Barbara, CA.
1. Put all your ideas, notes and drawings in an inventor’s journal, and have it signed, witnessed and dated. Be careful about disclosing your ideas to anyone—use a confidentiality or non-disclosure document when discussing your ideas.
Published Apr. 21, 2011
Are you properly insured? Find out by using these five tips brought to you by SCORE Mentors.
Assess your company’s insurance needs. Property-casualty coverage isn’t enough. Consider a broad range of coverage, from business interruption and consequent loss of revenue to product liability and wrongful termination.