Ask Entrepreneur - Legal Basics For Startups

Are there limitations when signing an NDA from a company that is interested in buying me out?

I have only been in business with a product that I have invented, developed and taken to market for three months. Currently it's patent is pending. But at a recent trade show another company expressed an interest in buying me out with royalties. They want me to sign an NDA and I am having them sign my NDA. This is just so that we can share proprietary information but will a typical NDA restrict me from doing a deal with someone else? I highly doubt it, but I just wanted to make sure.

Thanks for your help on this. If you have any other answers relating to royalty agreements that I can look up, please let me know.


If my name isn't on the filing, can I get screwed?

I'm starting a business with a web programmer and I have 51 percent of the shares. I'm just a signee of the partnership agreement, my name isn't being filed under the business. The company will never be split into more than 100 shares unless we both approve and my ownership interest will increase accordingly. How can I be screwed if my name is not on the filing?

What permits or licenses do I need to open a branch in another state?

We are licensed mortgage brokers in Hawaii and we would like to open a branch in California. Aside from the finance lenders license we need to obtain, what other permits are needed?

Should I obtain insurance for a small home based baking business?

I would like to start selling homemade baked goods such as cookies, bars and candy. I will start selling them at craft shows for now to see how well they sell. But I'm worried about allergies people may have to ingredients in my product. I am concerned that if someone gets sick, I'll get sued. Is a list of ingredients on the product enough to protect me?

Do teens starting a small after-school business have to have a license or register their business?

We are developing a program for teens in a community center to learn how to set up their own businesses (such as landscaping, pet sitting, jewelry making, etc.). What regulations govern these businesses?

How do I legally resign from a corporation?

I was involved in a business for 10 years and now I just want out. My business partner wants to keep the business running. The business was incorporated in the state of New York as a Chapter C-Corp. Since I am resigning, how can I be assured I will not be responsible for any tax liabilities or any future debts incurred, etc.?

How do I terminate a commercial lease?

My lease states I can only operate on these premises as a gift and apparel store. My store is within a strip mall which is owned by the same person. The tanning bed company next door to me has now added gifts, purses etc (just like mine). After discussing this with my landlord he said I should talk to the tenant. This tenant is taking business away from me. Do I have grounds to walk away from my lease?

Do I need permission to post celebrity pictures online for my salon's new website?

My website will have questions and answers, hair tips, etc., for men and women. This is all new to me--I'm really not computer savvy at all. I noticed a lot of salon websites have celebrity pictures so their hair can be discussed. Do I need special permission to post such photos?

Why is it wrong to accept gifts from vendors?

What are the legal and moral implications of accepting gifts from vendors? Are there any human resource policies that affect this kind of activity?

Can the board of directors vote to create a DBA or should this be brought to the memebership?

We are a local organization of artists who are finding that our name is restrictive and limiting (we're a small non-profit 501 c-3 corporation) In this instance, can the board of directors vote to create a DBA to update our name or are we required to bring it to the general membership for discussion and vote? We have over 200 members and over 70 attend any given meeting. Our name is restricting our growth and, while I do not want to loose our original name, we want to create a new more inclusive name. We will keep our accounts and tax reporting in the original name of our corporation. I need to know the proper procedure within the group for this change.

Thank you!
CJ Rider

How can I make sure underage children aren't buying my products?

I am selling a service on my website where I help people in a lesson form over the internet after they have paid me through Paypal. Everything has been going smooth and great, but I recently had a person pay me for the service and then ask for a refund a few days after he revealed to me he was 16 years old and used his mother's credit card to pay for my service. How can I have people agree to terms stating they are of age and that the credit card they use is actually theirs?

What are the requirements for getting a business and import license?

I am planning to start a handicrafts import business in Wisconsin. I need to know the requirements for getting a business license and import license. Should I have an attorney from the beginning to guide me with the legal documents? Are there government attorneys available, since I can't afford an attorney on my own ?

How can I end a partnership with my ex?

I own 75 percent and she has 25 percent (it's all in writing). She does not do her part in trying to build the business or basically anything pertaining to the business. I am frustrated about the situation. We have not made a profit and everything is in the beginning stage. Also, I have decided to change the name of the business from the one on our written contract. Please note she's my ex-wife and the mother of my two children (bad mistake).

How do I set up a cost or royalty fee for running a replica of my website in another country?

I have a US brand product. A client wants to sell the same product in the UK and create a website that matches my US website. Is this franchising and licensing? If so, can I charge money or royalty fee for the use of my art and website code?


Ask Entrepreneur is a question-and-answer forum for and by the community. Send in your burning business question, or comment on someone else's now.

Have a Question? Ask Now

Topics (over 1000+ answers)

Today's Most Read

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.