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Legal

Get legal advice, information, and real solutions to all your legal questions right here at business.com. Check out one of our many resources or ask an expert.

Latest: Advice, Tips and Resources

Article
Can I Press Play Or Must I Pay? Music Licensing Requirements for Businesses
By Daliah Saper | November 12, 2015

How to Avoid a Lawsuit

Article
What to Do if a Major Corporation Steals Your Trademark
By Victoria Heckstall | November 11, 2015

Taking Action When a Major Corporation Steals Your Trademark

Advice
For a private company, is there a limit to the number of people that can be co-owners?
By Karl Coffield | 8 Answers | Last Activity on November 05, 2015

I have asked several people and got different answers. If I keep my company private is there any regulation as to the number of shareholders in my company?

Article
Can I Use a Competitor’s Trademarked Words in Keyword Advertising?
By Daliah Saper | September 24, 2015

Learn from these lawsuits to prevent trademark infringement caused from keyword search teams and advertisements.

Advice
What is the best option for entering into a partnership with an existing business?
By Wilma Naz | 7 Answers | Last Activity on August 25, 2015

I have been running a consultancy business for the last two years. To increase volume, I am associating with a business development partner who would subsequently need some stake in the business....

Advice
What legal documents are required to sell a small business?
By Jenny Simon | 4 Answers | Last Activity on August 25, 2015
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Article
Are Hashtags Intellectual Property?
By Daliah Saper | June 19, 2015

Hashtags began on Twitter and have now spread to other major social media websites like Facebook, Google+ and Instagram—and to communication in general.

Advice
How do you handle payments to contractors if you are not yet incorporated as a legal entity?
By Pamela Lozoff | 3 Answers | Last Activity on May 28, 2015

I am launching a social enterprise, and will be fiscally sponsored under a 501 (c) 3 parent organizations, but I am not yet. I have a program starting and am contracting out a teacher to help run it....

Article
Not Just a Game: Legal Considerations for Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes
By Daliah Saper | May 21, 2015

Businesses have relied on sweepstakes or contests to attract customers, build traffic, and increase brand awareness for decades.

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Advice
What are the primary legal issues a small business needs to consider, anticipate, or expect?
By Vincent Kernaghan | 10 Answers | Last Activity on May 06, 2015

One I already know is the type of business - whether Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc. Others are insurance and business licenses - especially for some types of businesses more than others. I'm...

Article
The Copyright Question: The Difference Between Inspiration and Infringement
By Daliah Saper | April 21, 2015

Even the most original ideas borrow from old ideas. So when does inspiration become copyright infringement?

Advice
What course of action can a partner in an LLC take if another partner is inactive?
By BJ Sorensen | 8 Answers | Last Activity on February 16, 2015

I have a client whose business is compromised of 3 partners (50/40/10). The 40% partner has not contributed or been involved in the business for almost 2 years. What can the 50% & 10% partners do to...

Advice
What legal steps should be taken if my website design, content, and images were stolen?
By kavitha kumar | 4 Answers | Last Activity on January 07, 2015

I have a website for my company and the content and images on my site have been plagiarized under a different URL; with a very similar website design to mine as well. I have notified the owner of the...

Advice
Can I get a few paying customers before forming a legal entity?
By Lynn Kretschmer | 24 Answers | Last Activity on November 16, 2014

Before going through the time and expense of forming a legal entity, I would like to see how much demand their is for my goods. At what point do I need to form a legal entity?

Advice
How difficult is it to convert from an LLC to a non-profit 501(c)3?
By Pamela Lozoff | 7 Answers | Last Activity on October 08, 2014

I haven't incorporated yet, but I'm learning toward an LLC for now, but may eventually want to have an LLC arm and a non-profit arm. How does this work with tax status? How easy is it to move money...

Advice
My website design and content has been stolen. What should I do?
By Dinesh Singh | 15 Answers | Last Activity on August 10, 2014

The whole concept of my website has been stolen by another website. Will that website hurt me? Will this hurt my business? That website is also linking to my website. Please help. Our website is...

Advice
Can anyone provide an example of a business contract for a freelancer?
By Liz Wilson | 13 Answers | Last Activity on July 25, 2014

I am a freelance graphic designer, starting out, and would like help constructing a legally binding contract for me to present to potential clients. I am not sure how to do this or that I can even do...

Advice
Can a professional service business located in California form a LLC?
By irina butorina | 5 Answers | Last Activity on July 09, 2014

I'm thinking of forming an LLC and would like know what it costs. Do I need to hire someone or can I do this myself? What are the tax implications, and what are the annual reporting or filing...

Advice
How much does it cost to hire someone to set up a CA LLC for me?
By irina butorina | 5 Answers | Last Activity on July 09, 2014

Can I do this myself? My business is not complicated. What are the annual reporting or filing obligations / costs? Though I live in California, would it be better (cheaper, tax savings, etc.) to form...

Advice
Is my idea patentable?
By Albert Baldwin | 9 Answers | Last Activity on June 23, 2014

I want to use several already patented hardware technologies and combine them creating software from licencee software middleware and sdk to create a new form of social interaction is my idea...

Advice
What is the difference between S Corp and LLC?
By Dom Juraszek | 8 Answers | Last Activity on June 22, 2014

Hi there, my friend is looking to start an s corp. What is the difference between setting up an S Corp or LLC? Also, if she is in a co op apartment is she better of getting a P.O. Box and not...

Advice
How can I get out of a book contract?
By Rusty Nugent | 3 Answers | Last Activity on May 15, 2014

I am signed to a publisher in America and they said in their advertisements that they pay their authors. I have gotten checks for $2. I want out of the contract. How could I bring this up to them?

Advice
Legal Verbiage Question. What does the following mean?
By Sheila Anderzunas | 4 Answers | Last Activity on May 14, 2014

(c) The involvement of Lessee or its assets in any transaction, or series of transactions (by way of merger, sale, acquisition, financing, transfer, leveraged buy-out or otherwise), whether or not a...

Advice
How to structure tithing with business growth?
By David Lapedis | 3 Answers | Last Activity on April 19, 2014

Hi, I want to do a creative arrangement with clients. I want to help them build their business in exchange for 10% of the gross revenue increase they make while working with me. Is there a...

Advice
How to create a vesting schedule for an LLC?
By Stephen Beacham | 8 Answers | Last Activity on April 11, 2014

I've recently partnered with some individuals in a business venture and we've all agreed we want a vesting schedule for equity in the company. Meaning when one of us works less then our share goes...

Advice
What legal groundwork is needed to sell a franchise area in VA?
By Emma Palmerton | 4 Answers | Last Activity on March 27, 2014

I work with a podiatrist who specializes in treating toenail fungus (NovoNail, LLC - www.novonail.com). We are looking to sell the Charlottesville area to an entrepreneur interested in opening up a...

Advice
How much of provisionally patented invention must I disclose without a CDA to interest an investor enough to sign one?
By Steve Reichenstein | 10 Answers | Last Activity on March 23, 2014

IP: Methods & materials identified to store energy for sustainable electric generators.

Advice
Can anyone provide an example of a sound SaaS (Software as a Service) contract?
By Brian Biddulph-Krentar | 5 Answers | Last Activity on February 14, 2014
Advice
How can I shield myself from being sued?
By Alberto Sfolcini | 8 Answers | Last Activity on February 04, 2014

Hello, I wrote a software and I distribute it for free for personal and educational purposes. This software permits you to execute orders (buy and sell) through a broker. The software has a...

Advice
I have an idea, should I start by looking for a patent lawyer?
By Chris Mills | 31 Answers | Last Activity on January 26, 2014