Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups
Generally, you can't get something for nothing. If it's part of your employer's regular policy to offer severance pay, your employer is not "sweetening the pot" in any way and you have no... (more)
Ah, the classic David-and-Goliath situation. Generally, ideas are not protectable, so if you have a new idea for, let's say a sun block for dogs, you can't prevent someone else from developing a... (more)
We want to start several businesses. Is it better to set up a separate LLC for each business focus or to create a holding company with several subsidiaries?
When you have several lines of business within one company, you run the risk that if one of the lines doesn't do well, it can take down the fortunes of the others. In addition, you may find that... (more)
The general rule is that you need permission to use anything that anyone else created -- images, text, video, etc. -- regardless of where you find it. There are narrow exceptions if, for example,... (more)
Generally, if a business has closed its doors, there's no one to enforce the provision...so you're free to move forward with your activities. However, if the non-compete agreement made the terms... (more)
If you are already receiving legal counsel, speak with your attorney about your legal positioning once you've incorporated. Make sure that you check post office regulations about what can and can't... (more)
Unfortunately, you can't prevent people from suing you, no matter how crazy the claim. What you can do, though, is prevent them from succeeding on their claims. However, there's being right, and... (more)
I'm starting a home video editing business; can I use commercial music for my videos that my costumers provide?
You may not use commercial music for your videos unless you have some form of license (that you pay for) or other permission to use it. The music is the copyrighted property of the... (more)
LegalZoom is a document preparation service. A company like LegalZoom will do a good job assisting you in one thing, and one thing only: getting you the documents you need in order to incorporate.... (more)
I have an invention that I don't want to patent because of the cost. Will I be safe to manufacture the product myself and sell it online?
Selling your idea to an existing company means selling your right to profit off your invention, so if you want to manufacture and sell your invention yourself and keep the profits, you'll need to... (more)
You're right--these knockoff products sell like hot cakes worldwide, especially in and out of foreign markets such as China. The reason you don't see many of these products coming from the U.S.,... (more)
I just openied a small engineering consulting office. Can I bring to my practice an independent contractor whose H-1B visa is still in good standing?
Workers who hold H-1B visas can only work in the activities described in their petition for the H-1B. If the contractor you're planning on hiring is going to do the same work for which he or she... (more)
I want to start a business that involves using logos of established companies. How should I contact the companies to get their authorization for use and what percentage of sales should I offer in return?
It's not clear exactly how you intend to use the logos--my first suggestion would be to contact the legal departments of these companies or, depending on who they are, there may be a separate... (more)
Company names are determined by the Secretary of State of your state. As long as there are no other businesses with the name you want to use in your state, and provide the name meets other criteria... (more)
The Trademark Office determines what's allowed when it comes to trademarks . . . but based on the facts you've presented, it's unlikely your application would be permitted. The Trademark Office... (more)
Is there a legal way of breaking a business lease that has eight months left, given the terrible events happening in this economy?
You can try speaking to your landlord to see if he/she/it will let you out of the lease early. It's possible that the landlord could find another tenant quickly (at an even higher rent). You... (more)
It's entirely possible that once your family has an ownership interest in your business--regardless of the form--there will be an impact on their taxes. Speak to a business accountant who... (more)
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