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

How to Get More Done!

Carefully schedule your week and for every day write down the things you have to do. When done, number these items in the order of their real importance.  First thing every morning, you start working on number one and stay with it until it’s completed. Then take number two, and don’t go any further until it’s finished or until you’ve done as much with it as you can. Then proceed to number three, and so on. If you Read More

New regulations help employers with 401k plans reduce liability exposures

When business owners offer their employees a retirement plan benefit they have a personal responsibility to make sure that the fees charged are reasonable. Realizing that many employers are unaware of all the fees they’re paying, the Department of Labor is requiring plan providers to more clearly disclose the fees being charged. Fees vary a great deal, but generally speaking, the smaller the plan, the higher the fees Read More

Will a Trademark Protect Your Business?

When is the right time to trademark your business name?  You worked long and hard to come up with a catchy name for your business, now how do you protect it?   Perfecting a trademark can be an important part of your asset and intellectual property portfolio. As your business grows and you become more well known, your protections will become more and more important.  These protections can lie in many areas including Read More

If You Are Lacking the Proper Business Entity You May Be At Risk

Why operate your small business under the proper business entity?  In short, it depends.  It depends on your goals and those of your small business, but don't worry, when you work with the right business lawyer, all that will be fleshed out with you.  You should note that the best entity for you and your company may be different than the entity recommended to one of your competitors or someone else in your line of Read More