Ask Entrepreneur

Do I need a PLLC?

I'm run a single-member Acupuncture business that needs to be licensed and have malpractice insurance. Would spending the money on a PLLC really get me anything? Does a PLLC really help me if I'm the only employee? I still need malpractice, so is there any reason to do a PLLC until I hire employees?
Nina Kaufman

Are there restrictions on buying movies/video games with the intention of renting them?

I'm planning on opening a video game rental store and I would like to know if there are any restrictions preventing me from simply buying and renting the games. Do I need any type of license from the game maker to enable me to rent the games?

My store will mainly rent video games that I will acquire both new and used.
Nina Kaufman

How long does the patent process last?

What are the fees included with receiving a patent? Are patent attorneys a must?
Nina Kaufman

When a partner resigns from an LLC, what can that partner do to remove liability from the lease?

I started an LLC in the state of Arizona with two partners. After a year in business I am choosing to take another path and I am attempting to separate my legal liabilities. We initially signed a three-year lease with personal guarantees and currently have 23 months remaining. I am trying to figure out the route to take in order to bring a convincing argument to the property manager/owner to be removed of liability.
Nina Kaufman

Can seasonal self-employed people collect unemployment?

We work in the outdoor amusement industry and travel with a carnival. We have our own concession stand, but book through the carnival. When it is closed for the season we are out of work. Can we file for unemployment?
Nina Kaufman

Is a severance package with an attached non-compete clause legal?

I live in California and my employer is offering me severance pay, but in order to receive it I must sign a non-compete clause for two years. Is this legal?
Nina Kaufman

How do I close an LLC and S Corp?

I have started two companies one an LLC and the other an S Corp that I used for a very short time and would like to stop using. How do you go about doing so?
Nina Kaufman

How do I protect my company and idea from the bigger companies in my industry?

I am entering the sun block arena with a new niche product. However when the big companies see what I am doing they will probably just take the idea and push me under. The idea is not patentable, so is there any protection or do I just have to try to hang in there? Also, will big companies buy my idea or just take it?
Nina Kaufman

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?

Several colleagues and I have multiple business interests we want to pursue. Our various interests are mostly related to management, business consulting and investing in startups.
Nina Kaufman

Do I need permission to use images from the web in my online magazine?

The magazine will be for young women and I want to add pictures and cartoons to go with the stories. If I find these images through a Google Image search, do I need Google's permission to use them?
Nina Kaufman

Can a non-compete clause be enforced if the business closed down?

My husband worked for a candle manufacturing company. He signed a non-compete clause. The company shut its doors on October 31. The former owners now say they have three months to let the name go dormant from the current owners, then they plan to purchase the name back and thus my husband cannot compete with them.

Can they do this? The business was shut down and all employees let go, all the equipment was sold off. Can my husband now start his own candle-making business without fear of a lawsuit? Also, if he cannot, what about me as his spouse--I did not sign any non-compete agreement.
Nina Kaufman

Legally, can I sell cooked food from my house?

Do I need some kind of permit? If so, how do I go about getting it?
Nina Kaufman

What legal steps need to be taken when starting a parcel forwarding business?

This business will include of mail address rental, mail storage and forwarding to Europe using USPS, DHL and other providers. We need to establish LLC in Delaware (logistic reasons), be legally able to receive any incoming mail (USPS, DHL) regardless addressee (recipient) and forward it to destination address in Europe.

Are there any special legal steps to be done before we can start receiving parcels?
Nina Kaufman

Can a contractor sue for nonpayment of an amount he never disclosed or invoiced?

We are in the business of flipping homes. We recently hired a painter to paint the interior and exterior of one of our properties. We signed a contract at commencement of the project and paid 50 percent upfront, with the balance due at completion. The painter demanded several payments throughout the project--not adhering to the contracted payment schedule.

Needless to say, we made those payments and by completion of the project the painter had already been paid the contracted amount in full, though he never provided receipts. Two days after completion we were served notice that he was suing us for an additional amount.

He filed suit on Nov. 12. Then on Nov. 24, we received an invoice in the mail for charges for what he called extra services. Regardless of the fact that we refute these so-called extra services--as it was our understanding that these services were part of the original scope of work--my question is: Does he have the legal right to sue us on Nov. 12 for what he cited?
Nina Kaufman

I'm starting a home video editing business; can I use commercial music for my videos that my costumers provide?

I have a copyright waiver form that says I can copy copyrighted material; do I need to do something else to provide this service?
Nina Kaufman