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Protecting an Idea Steve Strauss, founder of www.theselfemployed.com, explains how and why business ideas may or may not be able to be protected.
Opening Shop: Commercial Real Estate Leases Location is everything, as they say in the world of business. Whether your company provides services, sells products or receives clients, your commercial property--even if it’s simply a desk, a watercolor painting and a plant--is where you draw your inspiration and energy, in addition to
Drafting a Will: Estate Planning for Small Business Owners If you own a business, there’s a good chance it’s one of your most valuable assets--if not the most valuable. Not just a major source of income, your business is also the culmination of a dream and in some cases the livelihood of others. For this reason, it makes good sense to put
Managing Expectations: The Employment Agreement Whether you have one employee or 1,000, people make your business run. If they’re not working behind the scenes to keep the process flowing, they’re out in the field engaging with customers as the face and heart of your company. An employment agreement protects everyone--the employee
Keeping Records: Why You Need Corporate Minutes As any business owner knows, it’s always good to have stuff down in writing. And in some cases, the law requires it. As your business starts rolling, the state asks that you hold regular meetings for directors and shareholders. Whatever official actions are taken or decided upon at these
Protect Your Secrets: The Non-Disclosure Agreement Businesses are founded on ideas. And considering the competitive nature of entrepreneurs-- and the business world in general--ideas can be more valuable than money. For this reason, you might want to think about a non-disclosure agreement or NDA. This legal form helps keep your business’s
Developing a Strategy: The Business Plan A little red tape never hurt anybody, but after you’ve wrapped up your corporate bylaws, your business entity and all the other business startup nuts and bolts, you’re probably itching to get back into the fun stuff. A business plan is more than just words on paper. It’s a way
Define Your Structure: Corporate Bylaws Sometimes it’s hard to play by the rules, but what if you’re the one writing them? Every small business does need some basic rules in place. Along with articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws provide a major--if not the major--foundation for your small business. Not only do
Covering Your Back: The Buy-Sell Agreement 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
A Matter of Type: Your Business Entity Entrepreneurs are by nature creative risk-takers, but the early stages of forming a small business require that you take five and prepare for those inevitable bumps in the road. But it’s really very simple: just focus on what you’re starting with and where you want to go. Your

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