Taking Care of yourself & your business Too often people think that business is all work with no play. It’s become the mindset of much of the country. Unfortunately, this very mindset is the mindset that holds you back from reaching your potential. Your happiness matters. However, the pressure of..
Entrepreneurs often make up in enthusiasm what they lack in experience. However, passion alone is not enough to ensure the success of a startup. If you’re starting a new business, you need to avoid the six legal snares below. Lease agreements. A commercial lease is much different than a residential..
Just about any business owner, whether they know it or not, has created some form of intellectual property (IP) during their company’s life. IP is an extremely key part of a business. Actually, it’s the most significant part. Your IP can make up 40% to 90% of your company’s total..
In everyday life, we see storms come and go throughout people’s lives, sometimes leaving them in shambles. For example, the hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast recently left communities shutdown and devastated. Entire cities were forced to enter survival mode. The primary key to weather these storms that come in..
If you get paid for a service, collecting that payment is the lifeblood of your company. Without it, growth is impossible! Yet, if you are like the majority of people, you have turned it into a postscript idea. For example, I could get a request from a client I’ve worked..
Selling your business should be approached with the same attention to detail as when you start a business. There is nothing worse than wasting weeks of time on a deal that won’t actually go through because the buyer is not serious or does not have the cash to buy out..
Before learning how to defeat a Goliath, let’s learn about what a Goliath could look like in your life. Terri Kelly learned this first hand when she was starting a flip-flop company. Terri designed a phenomenal product and worked day and night to get her products into shops, stores, and..
With the cost of today’s tuition, paying for a child’s college education can feel like extortion. If your child is an adult, you may have decided that it is up to them to pay for tuition, but if you do want to help them with tuition, there is a way..
While there is no such thing as a business without risk, most business owners look for ways to mitigate risk as much as physically possible. No one likes risk except an adrenaline junkie! Being aware of these three legal risks can help your future business. Trusting a verbal or handshake..
Taking on debt can help small businesses meet expenses and finance growth. The key to making it work is knowing what you will use the debt for, how it will generate a return on your investment and tracking. If you need support with finding capital for your business and tracking..
You’ve put in the time to get your business going and now you’re up and running. You have a product or service, and it is selling well. The team supports each other well and you have a proven income model. Congratulations! You’ve overcome the biggest obstacle to business sustainability! Surviving..
In today’s society, you can find all sorts of advice about how you should launch a business. With so much information, however, it can become difficult to know what you should heed and what you can ignore. To simplify things, we’ve made a list of five fundamental tips that will..
For many entrepreneurs, being a “workaholic” is a default status. Though this drive and dedication can be a good thing in short bursts, in the long run, it leads to stagnation and burnout. Just as experts advise us to step away from what we’re working on for short breaks throughout..
If you are a business owner, working from home, you may be eligible for tax deductions on part of the rent or mortgage payments you make, but you may be afraid this puts you at risk of tax audits. And, rightly so. Calculating your home office deduction properly can minimize..
As a business owner, you’ve worked so hard to build your business. You have created products, service, and processes using strategies that drive your business. What would happen if one of your best employees, who helps you run these strategies, tells you that they are leaving? How do you keep..
With the advanced connectivity available through media via iPhones, tablets, laptops, television, and other applications, more people are creating a livelihood by working from their own home. Many of us may be so ingrained in the notion of being employed and reporting work at a fixed location that we don’t..
It looks like every day, a new start-up is trying to make it big with a game-changing idea. However, only the ones that can turn that idea into reality reach business success. Too many start-ups fail to make the transition between idea and execution. Often they experience major setbacks along..
Before you open your business, it is imperative that you have the proper coverage. A single lawsuit or catastrophic event can easily wipe out a company before it has a chance to get off the ground. That being said, there are many types of insurance out there, and some policies..
As the owner of a small business, you’ve probably spent plenty of time working with your business plan, but have you dedicated the same amount of time to plan for the continued success of your business after you retire? If you were to suddenly die or become incapacitated, what would..
When getting a business to take off, one common mistake is that business owners fail to establish a solid legal foundation to protect their company from situations and circumstances that could be deadly. The most effective and efficient way to provide this legal bedrock is by putting a set of..
Every business, big or small, is responsible for protecting the personal and corporate data and their client base. This data can include names, address, social security numbers, and even credit card information. Therefore, it is not only a good idea to have a safeguard, but it is also a legal..
3 Steps to Avoid Getting Taxed or Sued for Misclassifying Your Independent Contractors With the increased rise of the “gig economy,” which relies primarily on independent contractors instead of W2 employees, there has been an equally steady climb in the number of independent Contractor (IC) misclassification cases filed against businesses...
3 Unparalleled advantages of Family-Owned Businesses Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, Porsche all something in common. What is that? Outside of being globally recognized brands and generating billions in revenue, they are also family owned businesses. Though family-owned businesses definitely aren’t for everyone and come with some unique challenges, for those who..
4 Key Elements Of a Small Business Owner’s Estate Plan Have you dreamed of leaving your company to your family, but you haven’t sufficiently included your business in your estate plan? If so, listen closely because it could quickly turn into a nightmare for your heirs, as well as, your..
Many small business owners fail to understand or realize the value in their intellectual property. According to valuation experts, intellectual property (IP) makes 40% to 90% of the total value of some companies. Given this information, it is vital that these assets are well guarded. However, IP is a little..
As a Legal & Business Success Coach, I’m always surprised how pervasive some rather untrue thoughts or beliefs can be as it relates to business law. And while thinking one thing, when something else is actually true, can be funny in other areas of life, I can tell you from..
As most of you guys know, I’m all about relationships when it comes to success in the business world. Relationships with your clients, relationships with your employees and relationships with your professional services team (e.g., lawyers, accountants etc) in my mind, are absolutely crucial to your overall business success...
Law can be an expensive and sometimes complicated thing. And for most business owners, talking to a lawyer ranks somewhere between going to the dentist and getting an audit by the IRS. But with that said, getting sued, receiving a demand letter or watching your intellectual property get hijacked..
As a sports fan, I’m always fascinated about what makes one team successful versus everyone else. I mean think about: Pick a sport – baseball, football, hockey, basketball – and there are at least 25 other teams trying to do the exact thing that everyone else is…win a championship. Literally..
As a Legal & Business Growth Coach by trade, one of the things I tell all of my clients is they have to get their legal house in order before they can achieve any meaning growth in their business. Why? Because trouble has a way of finding people – especially..
That’s a question that’s been whispered among many busy entrepreneurs across the country. “Why Scott, can’t I just use Legal Zoom or some other website for my legal needs?” And for someone who might not be familiar with the role a lawyer can play in their business (versus the labor..
As a lawyer for the past 20+ years, I understand that we might not always be the most popular people that others want to spend time with. As a matter of fact, it’s usually just the opposite! But as a Legal & Business Growth Coach, I also understand that as..
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 five 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..
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..