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Transaction-Based Law

Business Legal Fundamentals

servicesWhether you’re starting a new business or launching a product or service, it’s essential that you take the right steps early on to protect yourself.

Don’t worry: nobody completes all the initial steps on Day 1, but successful entrepreneurs learn how to properly set themselves up for future growth.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Consider what type of entity your business is going to be. These may include a solo business, a partnership, a corporation, an LLC, or a non-profit.
  • Be sure to consult with both a qualified attorney and a business-focused CPA before getting started. You will benefit from surrounding yourself with a knowledgeable team that will help you avoid legal issues and minimize your tax burden.
  • Engage an attorney to do a full trademark search for your business name and brand name. Too many businesses fail to take this step. They often end up receiving “Cease and Desist” letters right when their sales are taking off. This results in unanticipated legal costs, in addition to the huge burden of having to create a whole new brand.

Business Building Blocks

Here are some of the key concepts to understand when you’re getting ready to launch:

CORPORATIONS, LLCS, AND PARTNERSHIPS

These are among the variety of forms that your business may take. Sometimes this is referred to as the “type of entity.” These include:

Solo Businesses (also known as Sole Practitioners)
This is the default status if you’re working on your own and you haven’t filed the paperwork to form any other type of legal business entity.

Partnerships
Sole practitioners and partnerships are less costly to form than corporations or LLCs, but they don’t provide the same level of liability protection. As a sole practitioner or partner, your personal assets may be subject to attack in the case of a lawsuit.


Corporations
Tip: Often, startup businesses will create S corporations, which is simply a tax election that may be favorable for early stage entities.

LLCs
An LLC is a limited liability company. LLCs operate in a manner that’s similar to a corporation, but usually require a bit less formality, which can translate into cost savings.


Non-Profits
This type of business enjoys tax-exempt status in exchange for providing a benefit to the public.

TRADEMARKS

Anything that identifies your brand. This may include your brand name, business lame, logo, or tag line.

  • Be sure to identify any countries outside the US where you’d like to protect your trademarks. There’s no such thing as a “worldwide” trademark registry.
  • For more info on trademarks, click here to view my presentation “What Is A Trademark?”
COPYRIGHTS

Legal protection for valuable creative works produced by an individual or a business.

  • Be sure to identify any countries outside the US where you’d like to protect your copyrights. There’s no such thing as a “worldwide” copyright registry.
  • For more info on copyrights, click here to view my presentation “What Is A Copyright?”
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS

This term covers a broad range of agreements, such as:

  • Documents related to the purchase and sale of a business
  • Business financing documents – buying and selling equity (stock) or debt.
  • Any type of contract your business may have with another business or individual.
ONLINE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

These include your website’s Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, and other documentation that’s required to shield your business from legal liability.

ENTERTAINMENT AND SOCIAL MEDIA LAW

What do these have to do with businesses that aren’t in the “entertainment industry?” In today’s business environment, almost every business is heavily involved in online marketing. The principles of Entertainment and Social Media Law have been applied to any business that is public-facing.

Transactional Law Consultation

Sometimes there are straightforward solutions that require less strategy and more implementation. We offer focused, transaction-based consultations to get your legal needs completed correctly and on time. Click here to contact us and schedule a consultation to discuss your needs in the following areas:

  • Business Formations: LLCs, Corporations, and Partnerships
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Business Contract Drafting and Review
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
  • Independent Contractor Agreements
  • Vendor Agreements
  • Licensing Agreements
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Master Service Agreements (MSAs) and Statements of Work (SOWs)
  • Separation and Release Agreements

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