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Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups

Is it legal to open a business that sells knock-off items? If so, how do I become successful?

You have not indicated what you intend to “knock-off” or whether you intend to make exact copies or similar items. In either event, selling “knock-offs” is always a precarious venture. And calling... (more)

How does paying federal and state taxes work for an online business?

The business will pay federal income taxes in the same way it would if it was a brick-and-mortar business.&nb (more)

To open an online store, do I need to apply for a tax ID number or can I use my social security number?

As a general rule, if your business is an entity other than a sole proprietorship (e.g., corporation, limited li (more)

Is it legal for a LLC to give points to an employee of a company that the LLC is performing work for, in exchange for the promise of more work from that company and other companies where the employee may have contacts?

If by points you mean giving the employee an ownership interest in the LLC, the LLC may sell an interest to anyone legally competent to own an interest. However, paying an employee of another... (more)

How do you enforce a business contract?

Absent an arbitration agreement in the contract (or a written consent to arbitrate signed by all of the parties) (more)

How do I keep website developers from taking profit and ownership of my website's design?

By executing a contract that makes it clear that the design is a work-for-hire in which they have no intellectual property rights and that they cannot use for profit, you can secure ownership of... (more)

Should I sign a non-binding Letter Of Intent if I think it has questionable info on it?

There is no such thing as a non-binding letter of intent. At the very least, it obligates you to negotiate in good faith to carry out the intended transaction. It can also go much farther than that... (more)

When naming your business, how do you make sure the name is not taken and make it yours?

There are several companies that will perform a nationwide search to determine if the name has been used as part (more)

Can I get a patent on a modification of an existing invention?

If you have added something original, non-obvious, and useful that improves the original invention, you may be able to obtain an improvement patent. But, beware: an improvement patent will not... (more)

I have an idea but it involves using celebrity images. Is this illegal? Can I be sued?

If you intend to use celebrity images (or any else's image, for that matter) for a commercial purpose, you must (more)

Is it possible to start a business in the U.S. as a recent international graduate?

It is possible for a foreign national to start a business in the US. In order for the individual to remain in the to run the business, however, the individual will need to obtain the proper visa.... (more)

Where do I get permission to duplicate trademarks or copyrighted material?

You must contact the owner of the trademark/service mark or the copyright and ask for permission, which may (more)

Zoning laws won't allow my home to be a business address. Now what do I do?

Locate an (more)

Can a teen under the age of 18 be part of a business partnership?

Many states allow a person age 18 or over to freely enter into contracts and other business arrangements.  That means a teenager under the age of 18 may not.  Therefore, if you are 18 or over and... (more)

What income taxes do I have to pay from eBay?

You will need to check with your  local state laws for taxes as they relate to what you are doing. But essentially, if you are selling items on eBay, it is a business and any profit generated on... (more)

Is it possible to patent a similar idea that already exists?

To answer your questions simply, yes, as long as you can prove it's different enough. That said, it would be best if you think the idea has a lot of commercial merit to speak directly with a... (more)

How do I get a TM (trademark) for my brand?

Great Question. TM actually stands for Temporary Mark and then when the mark is approved you get to use the R in a circle meaning registered. Trademarking is a relatively simple process, you... (more)

What is the best way to make a business a Corporation or LLC?

Well, without a lot more detail it is impossible to answer this question. The simplest advice I can give is to find a good tax and structure attorney, or even deal with a specialist... (more)
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