Ask Entrepreneur - Legal Basics For Startups

I'm being evicted from a commercial space. How can I avoid paying the balance of the lease term?

We assumed a lease at a shop and, in light of the current economy, our sales have dropped. I am behind on rent and I'm being evicted. The owners are pursuing the balance of the lease term (three years). I tried to settle outside of court but they will not budge. What should I do?
Nina Kaufman

How do I register a company in the U.S., where I am a citizen, to export products from India to West Africa (Ghana)?

I plan to start an export company. The goods would be manufactured in India and shipped to Ghana. For paperwork-related issues, such as an opening letter of credit, I may use a U.S.-based bank. Also, I would like to put a U.S. address on the product stating that XYZ company is registered in the U.S. What forms do I need and what steps should I take?
Nina Kaufman

What steps do I need to take to purchase a business name from my uncle?

The business name belongs to my uncle, and he is going to sell all rights to the name to me. How do we start the process, and where do we go to get it done legally? Am I actually buying the LLC?
Nina Kaufman

I want to give private swim lessons in my pool for the summer. How do I limit my liability?

My backyard has a pool and spa that are surrounded by concrete, so a kid could conceivably fall and get hurt.
Nina Kaufman

As a teen attempting to start a company online, will I have to file a tax return?

How do I file, and do I need to file if I only make a certain amount of money in New Jersey?
Nina Kaufman

Product Specific Accessories

Do companies such as Belkin, which produces accessories such as protector sleeves for Apple iPods, need permission from Apple, since the sleeves ONLY fit iPods? And does such a company need permission to market the product as an iPod accessory, as long as it acknowledges that it's not an official Apple product?
Nina Kaufman

Can two DBAs be under one LLC?

If it is possible, would it be an accounting nightmare?
Nina Kaufman

How do I resign from a corporation based in Texas?

I want to remove myself from an existing corporation that my partner wants to keep running. I want to have nothing else to do with it, and I want it to have nothing else to do with me in any legal, liability or financial sense.
Nina Kaufman

I am about to start a restaurant with my partner, and he will run the day-to-day operations.

I am about to start a restaurant with my partner, and he will run the day-to-day operations. I will be responsible for the accounting. How should our salaries be determined? Industry average for both? Or should I sacrifice my pay until we're profitable since he is running the restaurant?
Nina Kaufman

What kind of license do I need and what protective steps should I take to start a home-care business?

I have experience in the home-care field and would be the sole employee for the time being. I'm concerned about the licensing process and also about protecting my endeavor from possible lawsuits.
Nina Kaufman

How do I get homeowners' coverage and coverage for my home-based business?

I operate a printing business with two full-time employees out of the basement in my home. Companies are refusing to provide homeowners' insurance because the business is in the same building. Can you offer any advice?
Nina Kaufman

Is workers' compensation required for my small family business?

I have a small catering business, but I only use family members as part-time help for the day of the event. Am I still required to get workers' compensation?
Nina Kaufman

Are printed fabrics and textiles copyrighted?

I want to start a business designing and making handbags. However, I do not want to design my own fabrics for the purses. Is it legal to use purchased fabrics from fabric wholesalers and sell the purse under my business name?
Nina Kaufman

Can a franchisee sue a franchisor for misrepresentaton?

I bought a cleaning franchise over 2.5 years ago. I've had all sorts of problems from the start in terms of marketing and getting customers, even though the franchise stressed there was a high amount of demand in the territory. The franchise promised to assist in marketing but their help wasn't useful. I followed their marketing program and basically have run out of money. Two other new owners in my area have already opened and closed because of not enough demand. What can we do?
Nina Kaufman

Is a PPM imperative when raising a $1 million equity offering?

My startup concept is a new website aimed at a niche demographic. I have a comprehensive business plan, but do not have a PPM. I am seeking $1 million from an equity investment.

My research indicates that a PPM could easily cost me $10-20,000--money which I do not have because I have used the money to develop a beta version of my site. Do I need to continue to pursue development of a PPM?
Could I save money by doing a mock-up of a PPM and simply have a lawyer edit it?
Nina Kaufman