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How Do I Produce a Prototype While Protecting My Idea?

Depending on the nature of your idea, you don't necessarily have to build a prototype in order to obtain a patent on your invention. In some situations, for example, in demonstrating your... (more)

What's the Best Way to Add Limited Partners for a Bar?

This is not an area where you should go it alone. In short, you are selling securities, broadly defined as a form of "ownership investment." Securities are highly regulated, both at the... (more)

Do You Need a Business Plan Before Starting a Company?

Technically, no. There is no law or authority that says you have to have a business plan before you starting. But most people do because it's smart to know what you're doing before you... (more)

How Should I Evaluate a Franchise Opportunity?

Especially in today's tough market, you need to pay attention to the dollars side of the business. Start up financing is virtually nonexistent, so you'll need to define a "reasonable"... (more)

Which Franchises Are Hot Right Now?

I was on Fox News recently and got quite a laugh when I said that I spelled sexy, "M. O. N. E. Y." That may have been what you meant, and I hope so. If by sexy you meant what is the... (more)

How Can I Improve Lunch Sales?

 Here are a few tactics you may wish to consider: 1. If you don't already have one, create a small lunch menu. A Thai restaurant in my town did this, and, even though it is s semiformal,... (more)

How Can an Ordinary Person Get a Grant to Buy or Start a Business?

I think grants are mostly myth, where we see somebody pitching about "free government money" and what he really means is "buy my product." There are grants offered by... (more)

How Do You Know When It's Time to Quit?

No one can tell you whether it's time to quit based on your email alone. From what you say here, staying with the business could be the worst possible decision, and leaving it could be the worst... (more)

How Can I Find Investors When I'm Just Starting Out?

The answer is yes. Every year, tens of thousands of startups find investors to invest in their companies. To interest investors, startups need to be the kind of startup that makes for a good... (more)

What nondisclosure forms can protect my business plans when pitching investors?

Your question is a tough one because most serious professional investors won't steal your idea, but they won't sign nondisclosure forms, either. But it still is a problem sometimes, and... (more)

How Do I Buy Benefits for Just One Employee?

Different states may have different options, but major carriers usually won't write a policy for an enterprise with fewer than five full-time, eligible employees. Here are two alternatives to... (more)

Should I Start a Business Despite Heavy Personal Debt?

The answer to your question really depends on your specific situation and how much research and preparation you have already done to determine the viability of the venture. If you simply just have... (more)

How Do I Find Partners or Investors for My Business?

You may want to explore the viability of partnering with an angel investor or an investment group such as a venture-capital firm. These types of investors can offer industry expertise and a strong... (more)

Do I need an occupational license to work from home?

Whether you need an occupational license depends on the nature of the work you'll be doing from home. If you're providing general office services, such as bookkeeping, graphic design or virtual... (more)

My subcontractor has stopped coming into work, what are my options?

One of the problems that can arise with subcontractors is not screening them carefully beforehand. From your description, you have another layer of complication: While you... (more)

What are my rights if I leave my family business?

If you are an owner of a business and are not happy about the way it's being run, you have several options: - Offer to buy out the other owners so that you can stay on board. - Make an offer... (more)

Do I need an actual address for my business?

Depending on the rules of your local county clerk, UPS stores can suffice as a place to receive mail, provided they'll accept service of process on your behalf (that includes official notices from... (more)

How do I find market research for my business plan?

A doggy daycare business sounds like a fun and fast growing venture. I performed preliminary market research online to get a sense of the opportunity and will share my findings with you below.... (more)

Can I pay my employees their standard rate for working on a holiday?

Let's start with the full-time employee. You only need to pay at his standard hourly rate on a holiday, unless working on that holiday will constitute him working more than 40 hours in that... (more)

Does the IRS accept scanned receipts for tax write-offs?

You sure can scan your receipts and throw away the originals. Most taxpayers don't realize it but the IRS has actually accepted scanned receipts as far back as 1997. The rule that supports... (more)
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