Business Licenses: Which Ones Do You Need and Why?

So you have a booming business concept, a location in mind, and a plan of action all lined up. What's next? Before you start putting your vision in motion, you'll need to make sure your business can legally operate within your city and state. That means applying for the right licenses and permits. Check this quick guide for an overview of the licenses and permits you'll need to get started—and the reasons why they're Read More

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe: How to Protect Trade Secrets with a Nondisclosure Agreement

Can you keep a secret? When your company has confidential information that needs to stay in your company, there is a contract that you can use to keep the information under wraps. It's called a “Non-Disclosure Agreement,” and it's one of the best ways to protect your trade secrets. Non-Disclosure Agreements, “NDAs,” or “Confidentiality Agreements” are contracts that legally obligate the signing parties to protect Read More

The Prenup for Entrepreneurs: Why Your Business Needs an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document used to set the rules and structure for management, decision-making, dispute resolution, and dissolution of any corporate entity. When do you need to use one? In some cases, you don't have a choice. Certain states legally require an operating agreement if your company has multiple owners. Florida does not, however, and because of the investment in cost and time it may be tempting Read More

LegalZoom Loses Lawsuits: Drawbacks to the DIY Approach to Litigation

Online services exist for just about anything. Sometimes, they can offer convenience and speed, like an online bank account. But what about professional services, like from a doctor or lawyer? You may have heard your family physician warn you not to seek medical advice from “Dr. Google” and websites that provide generic medical advice, such as WebMD. For legal problems, websites like LegalZoom threaten clients in Read More

Start Your Startup: Five Steps to Starting a Business Legally

Your brain is probably brimming with ideas for your startup, but ideas require action before they can take shape! Follow these 5 steps to ensure you meet the legal requirements for starting a business. Step 1: Choose and Create Your Business Entity The first legal step towards starting a business involves choosing a business entity. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and Read More

5 Common Issues That Arise in Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is the term used to describe the balance among participants in the corporate structure who have an interest in the way in which the corporation is run, such as executive staff, shareholders and members of the community. Corporate governance directly impacts the profits and reputation of the company, and having poor policies can expose the company to lawsuits, fines, reputational damage, and loss Read More

What Is the Difference Between a Copyright and a Trademark?

There is a lot of confusion in the business world about copyright and trademark. Many people use them interchangeably or call a trademark a copyright and vice versa. The reality is that trademark and copyright are two separate and distinct animals with little overlap. While the two are very different, the good news is that the differences are easily defined and when applied in the business world, make a great deal of Read More

Understanding the “Why?” and “What?” of Written Partnership Agreements

There are bumps in every road to success. That is part of the reason why having a written partnership agreement is so essential for business partners. Written partnership agreements clarify each partner’s rights and obligations in the relationship, but they also lay out what will happen if the unthinkable occurs, including death or incapacity of one of the partners. Every partnership should have a written partnership Read More

Choosing a Business Entity: The Pros and Cons of Forming a C-Corporation in Florida

Individuals who must decide on business entities are faced with a variety of options including corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. There is also the question of what tax treatment your entity should receive. One of the best ways for individuals interested in selecting a business entity to decide which election to make is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each Read More

Choosing a Business Entity: The Pros and Cons of Forming an LLC in Florida

In Florida, there are several ways that a new business can legally organize, including sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships, and more. Many businesses find that registering as a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) is the best route for them. Becoming an LLC in Florida has a number of different advantages and disadvantages—both at the federal level with regard to taxation and at the state level regarding the Read More