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Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups

Is it legal for my manager to change my job description?

The answer to whether changing your duties is legal may depend on a couple of factors. Generally, your employment is "at-will". This means you can leave when you choose--but also that... (more)

Should I allow my partner to walk away from our business but retain his ownership of our trademark?

Looks like you could be in for a thorny negotiation, and here's why: Without a written partnership agreement that sets out what each party is entitled to upon departure, you'll either have to reach... (more)

Can I still collect unemployment if I have a sole proprietorship?

Generally, you cannot collect unemployment insurance if you are self-employed. The purpose behind unemployment insurance is to provide assistance to workers who become unemployed through no... (more)

As a web-based business, do we need to register as a foreign qualified LLC in every state?

Your question brings up fond (not!) memories of law school exams, where we were tested on a concept called jurisdiction. Jurisdiction involved questions like "is it fair for a particular court... (more)

Should I bother to register copyrights and trademarks for my new business?

Is it worth "bothering" with registering your intellectual property? Only if you'll want to protect it and create an asset to possibly sell down the line. If those are among your... (more)

Are there limits as to how much an employer can monitor your activity at work?

Like it or not, employee workplace privacy laws--to the extent they exist at all--are very weak. Employers do have a right to monitor your e-mail, website visits, computer files, telephone... (more)

How can I make my client pay me for work I've already completed?

If you were truly an independent contractor, you're in much the same boat as any other company in a breach of contract situation. You can try to track down the company who owes you money, but... (more)

Should I have my lawyer business partner incorporate our company?

There's no question that if the lawyer is both an active owner of the company and the lawyer for the company, there is a conflict of interest. It's very difficult to stay objective about the... (more)

Can an employer legally put his entire staff on 1099 status?

This is a topic that definitely needs to be taken seriously and the circumstances must be understood fully considering the potential litigious nature of the matter. Before you rush to make... (more)

Does the founder of a non-profit have legal rights to make final decisions?

Founders of not-for-profit organizations have a different role from founders of for-profit corporations. First of all, their decisions should be focused on the needs of the organization, not... (more)

Is the franchisee the only party of interest in a breach of contract lawsuit?

The short and obvious answer to "who can I sue?" is "It depends." What's the real nature of your claim? Generally, if you enter into a contract with a corporation or LLC,... (more)

Am I required to provide workmans' comp?

Generally, if you are self-employed, you are exempt from the requirement to have workersÂ’ compensation insurance to cover yourself. However, the minute you add an employee, get that in... (more)

Can I work as a freelancer if I signed a non-compete agreement?

Non-compete clauses are very snarly things. Courts generally don't like them because, in effect, they prevent people from earning a livelihood. Whether the technology company could enforce the... (more)

What's the difference between an employee and a 1099 contractor?

Employers like to skate along the edge of the employee/contractor divide because, frankly, 1099 contractors are cheaper. Employers don't need to pay employment taxes, provide benefits or... (more)

What permits does a Canadian citizen need to open shop in the U.S.?

The answer to your question will depend on two things: One, on whether you are planning to treat the music school as a for-profit or a not-for-profit corporation, and two, whether you are lawfully... (more)

How do I make a customer pay me for my completed work?

You raise an important issue for small businesses, which is having a system to collect payment from clients. Once you finish performing your services and remain unpaid, your leverage for... (more)

Can my employer gain rights to my book if I sign a non-disclosure agreement?

Your treatment center employer may well be concerned about a couple of issues. First, there is an outside possibility that your employer can gain rights to your book. While generally the author is... (more)

Can I be forced to work consecutive days until a project is complete?

Coal mine workers are generally protected from unfair business practices by a number of labor-related laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act. The United Mine Workers of America... (more)

I'm an independent contractor for a maid service, do I have to bond each maid?

The best place for you to start is to develop a relationship with a business insurance broker. If you are a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, chances are you'll be able to meet services... (more)

Is my employer required to grant me the same severance as my peers?

Employers generally have the right to choose their own policies when it comes to terminating employees and providing severance. That said, there are significant exceptions to the rule. You... (more)
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