Although the simplicity and affordability of running a business as a sole proprietorship may have attractive perks, there are reasons why you might benefit from forming an LLC (limited liability company) or corporation instead.
How can you recognize that a change may be in order? Continue reading
Your business’s website can be one of the most powerful marketing tools you’ll ever have at your disposal. Unfortunately, the better it is, the better the chances it will catch the eye of unscrupulous competitors. They might have no qualms about hijacking your written content, images or other elements and presenting them as their own.
How can you prevent people from stealing content and images from your website? Copyright!
Copyright protects the rights of creators of original works—such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (for example, play scripts, movies, poetry, books, songs, photography and even computer software). It protects the way things are expressed/presented in works (e.g., the images, arrangements of words or music, etc.); it does not, according to the U.S. Copyright Office, protect “facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.” When you create (draw, write, photograph, etc.) something original, copyright law automatically gives you ownership of the work. At the moment you create a work, copyright exists.
This is also the case with digital content, including websites. Continue reading
You put a lot of time, energy and effort into your business. With so much invested, doesn’t it make sense to protect what you worked so hard to build?
Various ways exist to do that, such as choosing the right legal structure for your business, installing security software on your computer, getting business insurance, etc.
And don’t forget having an NDA! Continue reading
As your small business grows, you will reach a point when you can’t do everything by yourself. To get the help you need, you can choose to outsource various tasks to independent contractors or hire employees and delegate the work.
To decide which will make the most sense for you and your company, it’s important to understand some of the key differences between working with independent contractors and having employees on staff.
Years ago, I owned a “virtual” marketing services firm. I worked with a group of talented creative people — designers, illustrators, photographers, and others. I asked them to work on projects for my clients, and they often asked me to work on projects for their clients. We all had licensed businesses and we enjoyed working with each other. Continue reading
Make sure you understand buy-sell agreements.
by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting
Buy-Sell Agreements are legal documents that govern how ownership will change hands in privately owned companies if and when something significant happens to one of the owners.
These agreements are intended to ensure the remaining owner(s) control the outcome during critical transitions, while making sure the transitioning owner (or their estate) are treated fairly and equitably.
Although owners may have the same interests while both are in the company and all is going well, these same owners may have wildly divergent desires and needs after a triggering event occurs.
It is not too hard to imagine a scenario where one wants operational stability while the other needs liquidity. For instance, if a partner dies, the remaining owner wants business as usual, while the deceased’s estate wants to cash-out.
The interesting thing about Buy-Sell Agreements is that you do not know which side of the transaction you will be on when the agreement is drafted. Because of this, it is in both party’s interest to make them as fair and equitable as possible.
Nearly every professional freelancer eventually faces the question of whether to remain a sole proprietor or form an LLC. The question becomes more taxing as business grows and the potential for liability increases.
As a freelancer, you may have heard that forming an LLC provides liability protection. While this is true, it is not an impenetrable shield.
Understanding how liability works is crucial for protecting you and your freelance business.
The most important difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC is that the limited liability company is a legal entity separate from you, the freelancer. If your LLC is sued while pursuing its business, the company’s assets are at risk, but your personal assets are not. Continue reading