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On The Job

Online law guide, competitive salaries for employees.

This story appears in the January 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

How much should you pay a new assistant? What'sthe going rate for a computer consultant? Quite often, smallbusinesses take wild guesses when it comes to setting salaries foremployees and fees for consultants. Now there's no longer anexcuse for not knowing the current rates for most jobs: TheWeb is packed with need-to-know data. Where can you find it?JobSmart ( a terrific starting point. From this site, there are links tomore than 200 salary surveys on everything from jobs in thehospitality industry through retail, transportation andadministrative support. Pinpointed, localized information isprovided for some markets (, , SanFrancisco and ), but there is also plenty of data onnational pay scales. Before hiring another employee, check here tosee whether your offer is miserly . . . or toogenerous.

Legal Ease

A quick call to a lawyer can cost you more than $30these days. Before picking up the phone, surf over to LegalEncyclopedia: Small Business, operated by Nolo Press (, publisher of awildly successful line of do-it-yourself legal guides. The siteisn't comprehensive--many questions you might have won't beanswered, but lots of basic topics are handled thoroughly and inthe down-to-earth language Nolo Press is known for. Issues the sitecovers include: negotiating a business lease; legal issues thatarise when you sell products or services to the public; borrowingmoney; and a look at the various types of business organizations,from limited liability companies to partnerships or soleproprietorships. This is the legal stuff you've got to know,and Nolo Press makes it easy to read all about it.

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