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Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups

Whose Trademark Is It Anyway?

Great questions -- and you’ve stumbled upon a reason that it really helps to have trademark counsel advising you so that you don’t waste time or money. The short answer is: it... (more)

How Can I Get Out of a Non-Compete?

Non-competes are deceptive things. They may appear iron-clad, but you have to look at the terms very carefully to see whether they are “all sizzle and no steak.” Courts respect the fact... (more)

Do I Owe Subcontractors Health Insurance?

Your friend is wrong on both counts. One of the benefits of working for yourself is the independence you gain to work as you please. But because you are not an employee, no one owes you anything.... (more)

Can I Start a U.S. Business As an International Student?

U.S. law is very strict about what you can and cannot do while in the U.S. on any particular type of visa. Generally, on an F-1 visa you cannot work at an outside job, so the legal hurdles you... (more)

What Do I Need to Start a Consulting Business?

Like any other business getting started you have a couple of threshold questions to ask. First, what are your long-range ownership plans? Will you have investors or other owners? Also, you'll... (more)

What Type of Holding Company Should I Create?

In creating any business for any purpose, you have both tax as well as legal factors. Deciding on the form of entity for your holding company depends on a number of issues. For example, what's... (more)

Do I Need a Trademark?

Generally, once you form a company and file your company name with your state's Secretary of State, you can use that company name where ever you like across the globe. But that's... (more)

How Can I Make Sure I Get Paid?

Any time you're dealing with delinquent payables, you have several factors to consider. First, do you have a written agreement that specifies when you get paid, and if you can charge any... (more)

What Are My Rights as an Investor?

You're right. Just because you are a minority shareholder doesn't mean you don't have rights to have a say in what goes on in the company. First, look carefully at your shareholders agreement... (more)

How Do I Bring Partners into the Business?

Business partners can be hands-on or passive investors, so the first thing you need to determine is which kind of partner you want. Do you want someone local in Mexico? Do you want someone who... (more)

When Do I Need a Business License?

Whether or not you need a business license depends on your local and state laws although, generally, toy shops don't require specific business licenses. Your local town office will have more... (more)

What Ownership Stake Should a Departing Partner Keep?

There is nothing in this realm even remotely as simple as standard practice. There are no simple formulas. This will be a matter of what you and your partner can negotiate. Your question is a... (more)

How Do I Start a Personal Training Business?

Many personal trainers do business under a name other than their own. For example, someone named Angela Smith may want to do business as "Body by Angela" or "Angela Smith Personal... (more)

Do I need an occupational license to work from home?

Whether you need an occupational license depends on the nature of the work you'll be doing from home. If you're providing general office services, such as bookkeeping, graphic design or virtual... (more)

My subcontractor has stopped coming into work, what are my options?

One of the problems that can arise with subcontractors is not screening them carefully beforehand. From your description, you have another layer of complication: While you... (more)

What are my rights if I leave my family business?

If you are an owner of a business and are not happy about the way it's being run, you have several options: - Offer to buy out the other owners so that you can stay on board. - Make an offer... (more)

Do I need an actual address for my business?

Depending on the rules of your local county clerk, UPS stores can suffice as a place to receive mail, provided they'll accept service of process on your behalf (that includes official notices from... (more)

Is my franchise agreement void if the entire company went bankrupt?

Whether your franchise agreement can be voided depends on what it says. First, you will want to look for language that indicates whether or not the franchise agreement (or certain provisions)... (more)

Is it legal for my company put me on retainer indefinitely?

In many states, the general rule is that employees are hired "at will," which means that the company can let them go at any time and the employee can choose to go at any time. With... (more)

Does a business partnership have to be legally formalized?

Generally, filing business certificates with your county clerk (or secretary of state) does not absolutely require a lawyer's help. If it did, all of the online business filing companies you see... (more)
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