What Business Owners Need to Know About Protected Classes

Any employer who doesn’t want to be in real danger of losing a discrimination lawsuit needs to know about protected classes. These groups are legally protected from employment discrimination through a variety of state and federal laws. Put simply, an employee who is discriminated against based on his or her membership in a protected class has a legal avenue for damages, which can be financially devastating for many Read More

Final Paychecks: Rules on Employee Compensation After a Resignation or Firing

Let’s be honest, employers: resignations from some employees sting a lot more than resignations from other employees. You hate to see your best people go, and you should do everything reasonable to keep them, but workers simply don’t stay with one job as long as they used to.  Whether an employee of yours resigns or is terminated, you have to provide them with their final paycheck in a timely manner. Many business Read More

How Can I Settle a Lawsuit Out of Court?

That question, unfortunately, is next-to-impossible to answer — even for an attorney — without knowing the numerous particulars of your case, including the amount of money at stake and the reasons for the conflict. Litigation is generally regarded as the last resort when trying to resolve a legal dispute, but it can be a good last resort if you have a problem that you can't resolve any other way. Some common Read More

What is a Fanciful Trademark?

Many once-small businesses have built their brands and reputations off the strength of their trademarks. Apple, Amazon, Nike, ExxonMobil are some of the world’s most recognizable brands because they have strong trademarks that are fanciful. Fanciful trademarks are the strongest trademarks because they are the most distinctive.  A trademark, as defined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is a Read More

Buying an Existing Business vs. Starting Your Own

While most entrepreneurs have the dream of starting up a company from scratch, it’s worthwhile to ponder whether purchasing an existing business might be your better option. Each situation (and entrepreneur) is unique, but here are some things to consider as you weigh this decision. When Does it Make Sense to Buy an Existing Company? You should strongly consider purchasing a business if you’re worried about Read More

How to Keep Your Trademarks in Compliance with the USPTO

Going about securing federal protection for your company’s trademarks means you have a fair amount of work to do up front. The application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is fairly in-depth, which means it would be wise to have an attorney help you. Even after you submit a trademark application and it is approved, though, you have to take certain actions to maintain your federal Read More

What Is Dissociation From a California Business Partnership?

In an ideal world, every co-owner, member, or partner would be on the same page about every major decision related to the business, but in reality, disagreements are all too common. Perhaps your partners originally agreed with your long-term vision for the business, but your views have diverged, and it is time for your or someone else to leave the company. This is called dissociation. Having a robust and thorough Read More

Four Reasons a Trademark Application Gets Refused

Applying for federal registration of trademarks is one of the smartest moves that a startup owner can make in the early stages of his or her company. Registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can be an especially effective way to protect a company’s brand; the ultimate purpose of building a brand is for consumers to associate your company’s products or services with its trademarks.  With Read More

Six Boilerplate Provisions to Double Check in Your Company’s Contracts

Most contracts aren’t exactly page-turners. It can be tempting to skim them or agree on the important parts rather than double-check every detail. In some cases, however, those small details can make a world of difference. Boilerplate provisions are general terms of a contract that normally appear at the end in a section titled General Terms or Miscellaneous. They may seem standardized, but what they dictate could Read More

Considerations for California Employers Moving to a Permanent Remote Workforce

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 3% of American businesses used remote workers on a permanent basis. Now, many companies are struggling to decide if and when they will ask their employees to return to their place of business, and some are making the choice not to return at all. If you are thinking about keeping your workforce on a remote basis permanently, you will need to revise your company's policies Read More