One of the most important things you can do as a small business owner is to protect your intellectual property. For many businesses, intellectual property is the most valuable asset in the business. Failing to understand how to properly protect your business’ trademarks may lead to misappropriation of your valuable intellectual property. Today’s post provides ten tips for protecting your trademarks.

What is a trademark?
A trademark is “a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” Trademarks are designed to reward companies who invest in the quality of their product or service by ensuring customers can easily identify the…

Read More

If you’re like me, one of the most important things to you is quality of life, at work and at home. And you may have discovered that one of the benefits of running your own business is the ability to adjust work life to add quality to your home life. It’s this balance of work life-home life that can benefit our productivity as business owners and our overall health and quality of life, both in and out of the office. In our economy, people are happy just to have a job. Because of this, people are more and more willing to work longer hours. Full-time used to mean 40 hours a week. Now, it’s more common to work 50 to…

Read More

What is a partnership?
A partnership can be created automatically when two or more people engage in a business for profit. The Uniform Partnership Act states: “The association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners of a business for profit forms a partnership, whether or not the persons intend to form a partnership.” This means that the neighbor kid and his friend who run a lemonade stand on the corner of your street technically have formed a partnership.

A partnership can offer owners flexibility and relatively simple organization and operation. While it’s generally not the preferred method for starting a business, knowing some of the basics about a partnership can be a useful tool when starting a new business.

Pros…

Read More

Even before your pen hits the paper or your finger hits the key, it’s important to have an idea of how your document should be organized. In this latest post in our series on Drafting Clear, Concise Contracts, I’ve provided some important organizational principles that will make your contracts easier to read.

Principle #1: Lay out the big picture
Before you get into the nitty gritty, present the big picture to your reader. Details are difficult to understand without any context in which to interpret them. Think how hard it would be if someone handed a box of car parts and told you to build an engine without any blue print. Similarly, if you give the reader a list of complex details…

Read More