Protecting Your Business

Determining Your Company's Legal Structure

Congratulations! You have decided to start your own business. What do you need to do besides simply opening a bank account, ordering stationery, and getting a phone number? First, you must decide your business's legal structure. You may have heard such terms as corporation, partnership, company and others, but may not be sure of their benefits or disadvantages. This workshop explains the legal structure options available to you.

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Small Business Legal Issues: Contracts

Whether business owners know it or not, the day-to-day conduct of every business is governed by dozens of contracts. Some are written, others oral; some are complex, others not. Nonetheless, contracts -- promises given in exchange for other promises, to act in a certain way, or to pay money -- order the day-to-day world of business, and life.

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Protect Your Intellectual Property With Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

The old maxim that possession is nine-tenths of the law has no meaning when applied to intellectual property. Unlike personal property or real property, intellectual property has no physical form. Intellectual property rights are purely a creation of the law. While every business owns and uses various forms of intellectual property, many businesses are not aware that those assets can be easily misappropriated, relinquished, damaged or devalued if not properly managed. It is the savvy business owner who recognizes the significance of the business's intellectual property - the patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets - and understands what steps are necessary to ensure that those rights provide value for the company.

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