How to Start a Business

When considering how to start a business, there are many things to think about.  First, of course, you need to have a good idea or at least one you can make something out of.  Then, when deciding how to start a business, you should start to put together your business plan.  This step will put a lot of things that need to be done into perspective.  The business plan will not only lay out for you the best way to move Read More

E-Verify

 U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment. E-Verify is an Internet-based system managed by the Federal Department of Homeland Read More

Employee Handbook Pitfalls; Small Business Owners Beware

An employee handbook is an important part of making sure your small business runs smoothly.  Once you start to bring on employees, an employee handbook should be drafted, maintained, and updated to reflect your current policies as well as those required by law.  When reviewing an employee handbook for a small business client, I often see provisions included that, although are mandated by law, are not applicable Read More

IRS Forgiveness Program for Employers Big Opportunity Here!

One of the many burdens employers face is payroll and payroll taxes. Some employers try to avoid the hassle and expense of paying payroll taxes by treating their “employees” as Independent Contractors. Or, they are not informed of the regulations on how to properly classify workers. Unfortunately, in most cases, workers are mis-classified; and the penalties for this oversight can drive a business into Read More

Registered Trademark Symbol Confusion

Some small business owners may have some confusion about when they may use the registered trademark symbol, or even what the registered trademark symbol is; so, what is it and when can you use it? Here's the quick and dirty: you can begin using a superscript TM (that's the floating TM at the end of a word, logo, etc.) when you have an intent to claim a trademark on the word, logo or whatever it is that you intend to Read More

What is a Trademark?

I am often asked, "What is a trademark and what does it get me?"  Well, the first part of that questions is fairly straight forward, the second part, not so straight forward, but let me try to help. What is a trademark?  A trademark is something that is used to promote your small business.  What immediately comes to mind is your small business name, however a mark could be a logo, a phrase, such as your tagline, a Read More

To Trademark or Not to Trademark Your Small Business Name

Although a trademark can be an essential element of your small business assets, is it really necessary?  I have clients that get advice from people that ends up to be all over the map.  The reality is that if you want to file for a trademark, sooner is typically better than later.  This is for the simple fact that if you wait until your brand becomes wildly popular before perfecting your mark, you may be in a Read More

Small Business Accounting: What Do You Need to Know?

Small business accounting is something that is important for small business owners to keep their eye on, but most of us don't.  Something I often talk to my clients about is the accounting or financials they should have in place for their small business.  Let's face it, as small business owners we have a lot on our plate, most of which is making sure the client gets what they want, be it a product or a service.  And Read More

Is Trademark Registration Required to Protect Your Business Name?

In short, a trademark registration is not required, but is often helpful in your quest to protect your brand.  A trademark can be obtained for a word, a phrase or a design, think logo, that is unique to your product or service and identifies that product or service as associated with your business. In the United States, you automatically get protection when you use a word, phrase or design that is used in connection Read More

Attorneys’ Fees Provisions in Your Contracts, Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Attorneys' fees provisions in contracts can be tricky.  The general rule in California, each party takes responsibility for his or her own attorneys’ fees unless the parties agree otherwise, although some "specialty" rules exist that reallocate payment of attorneys' fees or mandate “fee shifting.” Generally, the attorneys’ fees provision in a contract will read something like: The prevailing party in any action or Read More