As a Lawyer & Coach, that's actually a question I get a fair amount from clients: Is this something I need a contract for? In other words, they are usually initiating some type of business relationship - client, vendor, partnership arrangement- and they are wondering if they actually need an..
That’s a really good question, because most people think of email as being a relatively informal way of communicating, and not necessarily the foundation of an “enforceable contract”. However here in the United States, courts have generally held that emails can be considered enforceable contracts, even if the intended purpose..
One of the biggest mistakes I see most business owners make is trying to be everything to everyone. And as a Coach & Business Person myself, I totally understand. We know so much, and have such a wide breadth of skills and abilities we bring to the table that can..
There is an old saying: “if it is not written down, it did not happen.” And no where is this more true than for service professionals, who by definition work in the world of intangibles. So when people ask me what they can do to both protect and grow their..
We are a nation of entrepreneurs, but we are also living in a litigious society, so if you are starting a new venture and there are other founders involved, a founder’s agreement is essential to protecting your fledgling enterprise. Here are some tips on how to properly structure a founder’s..
As a Lawyer and Marketer for the past 25+ years, one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed over the years is the role intellectual property plays in business. In other words, when I first started out, all you had to do was register your name with the government, secure a..
Every business owner at one time or another needs legal advice. While it may be tempting to turn to the Internet for your legal needs, there are three important instances when you will want to consult with a Lawyer! Entity Formation When you are ready to start your business, you..
Let’s face it: Being in business is hard work. And nowhere is that more than being in business with a partner. While each person brings their own unique style and set of skills, they also bring with them a set of weaknesses and baggage that are bound to..
This is by far one of the biggest questions I get from people thinking about a business partnership. So for the sake of brevity, the short answer: Absolutely. Why? Well, having some type of agreement in place does a great job of heading off any potential disagreements..
As we head into 2018, business owners all over the world are feeling recharged, refreshed, and looking for ways new to increase their business results. And while a number of options exist to impact your business’ bottom line, there’s really only one way to ensure its long term success. ..
A lot of times people ask me, “What can they do to grow their business, while simultaneously protecting their hard-earned assets?” And that’s a great question, because here in the United States, we live in one of the most litigious countries in the world. Meaning that for most businesses,..
Business owners concerned about protecting their personal assets from business liabilities often choose to operate their companies as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation (usually as an S-Corporation), since these business structures provide what is known as a “liability shield”. However, a court can dissolve this liability shield if..
As a Coach & Lawyer for the past 25+ years, I’ve just about seen it all. Especially when it comes to business partnerships and agreements. Normal, rational folks – people who started out as best of friends – going toe to toe in the courtroom, with high priced lawyers and..
Just about everybody recognizes that contracts – as a general rule – are a good thing to have when entering into a business agreement. It allows both parties to organize their thoughts, and structure a business deal that works for everyone…especially in the event something goes wrong. But what most..
Audits can happen to any business. Small businesses are no exception! The IRS can conduct an audit on your business when your tax filing contains questionable deductions, your business is of particular interest to the IRS or by random selection. Contrary to popular belief, being audited doesn’t necessarily mean you..
One of the biggest benefits of owning your own business is being able to write off certain expenses to lower your annual income tax liability. When done right, writing off business expenses, especially when they are investments in things or experiences you would invest in even if you did not..
Beyond the products or services you offer, your company has intellectual property that needs to be rigorously protected. Too often, business owners and entrepreneurs neglect to put the proper safeguards in place, which can lead to big legal expenses down the road. Here are 6 costly IP mistakes you..
Before you consider in a new startup, you should understand that there is quite some distance between a great idea, and a great company. As part of your due diligence, perform these reality checks before you spend your savings on starting something new: 1. Are you ready for the..
Different Types of Business Entities So you’ve decided to start a business. It’s a very exciting time, but fraught with many decisions. One of the first, which can impact everything from taxation to liability, is the choice of a business entity. Should you opt for a traditional sole proprietorship, a..
If you have built a successful business and plan to leave it to your heirs or business partners, doing so is not a process that just happens naturally after you retire or die. If you don’t have a buy-sell agreement, a business succession plan, a business transition plan or a..
Chances are if you are an entrepreneur, you have a little “issue” when it comes to controlling everything about your company -- in other words, you find it hard to trust others when it comes to your “baby.” But unless you are an experienced business attorney, you probably don’t..
Years ago, Microsoft was on the wrong end of an English court ruling that found the software giant had infringed on the trademark of British broadcasting company BSkyB with its SkyDrive cloud storage service. Instead of appealing the ruling, Microsoft decided to rebrand the service. Before your company has..
Liability insurance is a valuable form of protection needed by most businesses. Choosing the right policy for your business can be tricky, so it’s important to understand what liability insurance covers before you make the investment. If you get sued for personal injury or property damage, general liability insurance..
Keeping good records relieves stress and makes running your business easier and more enjoyable. But it may not look like what you think if you’ve run your business by saving receipts all year long and then trying to handle your bookkeeping all at once at tax time. First..
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Only a certain type of person has the particular set of skills, and is willing to take calculated risks and work tirelessly to build a successful business from scratch. One risk you should never take is leaving the future of your business to chance. ..
When growth and funding are top priorities, it is wise to not let legal soundness fall to the wayside. Not surprisingly, 1 in 10 startups fails due to overlooked legal issues. Without a lawyer looking out for your best interests, it’s easy to miss common legal mishaps that pose a..
In the past, small businesses relied on bank loans when in need of extra funds. Although new to the scene, micro-finance lenders now offer additional flexible funding alternatives for small businesses. Originally used to fund entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries who lacked the resources, credit history and stability to pursue traditional..
If you get paid for a service, collecting payment is the lifeblood of your company. And, yet, if you are like most people, you've made it an afterthought. For example, let’s say a you work with a client a few times to review her client agreement. Upon doing..
You’ve put in the time to get your business off the ground… and now you’re up and running! You have a product or service that’s selling well, team support to keep everyone happy, and a proven income model. Congratulations! You’ve overcome the biggest obstacle to business sustainability. ..
Business growth is a dream that sparkles in the eyes of many small business owners. But bigger is only better when your business operations are scalable. Significant growth without proper planning usually comes with extra costs and more work that could leave you and your business vulnerable and..
If you’re relying on your top line to grow your wealth, you could be missing out on easy opportunities to save money and improve profits, independent of your revenue. Many entrepreneurs waste precious time and money by falling prey to these common mistakes. However, there is no need to..
A strong, identifiable brand is an invaluable asset to any company. Many businesses can reap major rewards by building a brand image that accurately reflects the strength of the company. And in today’s business world, branding is necessary for businesses looking for longevity and growth. So, what do small..
One of the most critical components to building a company, as opposed to a solo practice, or even a business where you are managing everyone and everything, is to learn to step into your full leadership. A primary key to that leadership is your ability to train your team..
Many small businesses are family owned. While family owned businesses enjoy the benefit of familial solidarity, their strength is often threatened when it's time for leadership to be passed down. Succession plans help ensure the transition from owner to owner is an easy one, but many small and family-owned businesses..
Opening a new business location is an exciting venture. It also comes with inherent risks. A new site can increase profits and brand exposure, but it also opens up possibilities for failure. Rushing into expansion and opening a new location can do more harm than good if proper preparations are..
Those new to the business world often lack the first-hand experience of initiating and building healthy business relationships. But protecting these vital relationships with carefully crafted business agreements—such as those for co-owners, suppliers and clients—is essential to growing a new business without risk of being taken advantage of or of..
In part 1, we discussed the importance of knowing how to negotiate business deals and mitigate conflict whenever possible. Besides being a financial drain, business disputes can also create conflicts that require precious time and energy to resolve. Setting clear boundaries and realistic expectations when making professional agreements is essential..
A large part of being a successful business owner is knowing how to make deals and facilitate conflict when it arises. When in a dispute over a deal or an agreement that has been made, the potential costs are endless. The potential cost of litigation, the potential cost..
Avoid These 5 Common Start-up Legal Mistakes It seems that everywhere you look, a new start-up is trying to make it big with a game-changing idea. But it’s only the ones that can turn that idea into reality that reach business success. Too many start-ups fail to make the transition..
As a business leader, you have the ability to make an impact, inspire future generations and leave a legacy of your leadership. But too often, leaders in the business world fail to consider how to accomplish these lofty goals until it’s too late. Leaving a business legacy isn’t as..
Audits can happen to any business. Small businesses are no exception. The IRS can conduct an audit on your business when your tax filing contains questionable deductions, your business is of particular interest to the IRS or by random selection. Contrary to popular belief, being audited doesn’t necessarily mean you..
Building a brand can transform your business into an enduring household name. But how do you build a brand when you are starting from scratch? One good place to start is developing a consistent company culture. Company culture can be leveraged to create a unique and memorable company..