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This book is for anyone who needs easy-to-understand legal advice for owning or running a business. The guide gives small business owners and managers a legal overview of topics such as partnerships, sole proprietorships, corporations, hiring and firing of employees, leasing commercial space, and implementing e-commerce. It helps them to understand the legal implication of each topic and to know what questions to ask their regular attorney. Topics also include franchises, trademarks, patents, collections, taxes ...
This book is for anyone who needs easy-to-understand legal advice for owning or running a business. The guide gives small business owners and managers a legal overview of topics such as partnerships, sole proprietorships, corporations, hiring and firing of employees, leasing commercial space, and implementing e-commerce. It helps them to understand the legal implication of each topic and to know what questions to ask their regular attorney. Topics also include franchises, trademarks, patents, collections, taxes and bankruptcy, as well as dealing with lawsuits, selling your business, and including your business in your estate.
I. CHOOSING AMONG THE BUSINESS ENTITIES.
1. The Business for You.
Choosing Your Entity. Personal Liability. Taxing Matters. Selecting Sage Advisors. Raising Cash to Grow. Employing the Best Staff. Contracts That Bind. Protecting Your Intellectual Property. Leaving the Business in Good Hands.
2. Partnership in Harmony.
Choosing Among the Choices. Regular Partnership Is General. Drafting the Best Agreement for All. Registering to Limit Liability. Limited Partnership Limits. Taxes Matter. Helpful Sources.
3. The Inc for You, or Sharing with Others.
Incorporating Your Business for Protection. Shareholder Agreements to Agree. Shareholders Share Almost Everything. Board of Directors and Officers Control. Acquisitions and Dissolution Mean Change. Taxes Matter. Helpful Sources.
4. The Limited Liability Company Limits Your Liability.
LLCs: The Basics. Your Organizing Articles Is the Beginning. Operating Instructions for the Business. Moving Forward. Taxes Matter. Helpful Sources.
5. Going Solo as a Sole Proprietor.
You and Your Choices. Financing for Now and the Future. Closing Out for New Beginnings. Taxes Matter. Helpful Sources.
6. Taxing Matters.
Taxing Choices for You to Make. IRS and You in Business. Operation: Making Tax Laws Work for You. Sale of Ownership Interest. All in the Family. IRS Looks at Your Business: Preparing for Your Appearance. States and Cities Want Their Share, Too. Helpful Sources.
7. Hiring a Lawyer, Accountant, and Other Advisors.
Your Lawyer's Assistance. Accounting for Your Money. Insuring Against the Risks. Banking on You to Succeed. Brokering the Realty. Computer Sourcing. Investing the Cash. Retired Pros Playing for You. Helpful Sources.
II. BEGINNING YOUR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.
8. Buying an Existing Business: Traps for the Unwary.
Selecting the Right Business for You. Using a Business Acquisition Team. Examining the Financials Closely. Looking for Any Legal Problems That May Arise. Making the Offer and Negotiating the Deal. Financing the Purchase. Taxing Matters. Closing Means Beginning. Helpful Sources.
9. Franchising for Success.
An Overview of Franchising Laws. Choosing the Right Franchise. The Franchise Disclosures Duly Noted. Your Franchise Agreement. Solutions to Franchisor Problems That Can Arise. Helpful Sources.
10. Raising Money When You Need More Than You Have.
Figuring Out How Much You Need. Determining Your Assets. The Risks of Borrowing from Family and Friends. The Cost of Bank Borrowing. Small Business Administration Loan Guarantees. Investors and Securities Laws.
11. Finding the Right Location: Realty Bites in Leasing or Buying.
Using a Broker to Find the Right Place. The Way to Rent. Landlord Problems to Avoid. Buying Real Estate from Acquiring to Zoning. Purchase Agreement Terms That Benefit You. Helpful Sources.
III. YOUR EMPLOYEES MATTER.
12. Selecting Employees Without Violating the Law.
All the Major Employment Laws. Recruiting New Employees. Before You Hire. Testing and Passing. Hiring the Best That You Can Get. Independent Contractors Instead of Employees. Helpful Sources.
13. Money and Other Matters in Employee Compensation.
Compensation Overview. Minimum Wage and Overtime Requires Punching the Clock. Pay Practices to Avoid Lawsuits. Your Pay Package: Salary and Fringes. Pensions and Deferred Compensation to Delay Taxes. Helpful Sources.
14. Keeping or Letting Go.
Put It in Writing. Review Performance Periodically. Employee Files. When Employees Go Bad. Sexual Harassment Is Serious Business. Safety on the Job. Workers with Disabilities. Labor Unions.
IV. RUNNING THE BUSINESS.
15. Insuring Your Business (and You) Against Life's Disasters.
Insurance Basics from A to Z. Property Coverage That Is Adequate. Liability Protection That Can Save Your Business. Business Interruption and Other Worries. Life and Health Insurance to Protect Your Employees. Taxing Matters. Saving Premium Costs. Helpful Sources.
16. Contracts That Are Binding.
In Search of a Solid Contract. Forming a Solid Contract. Interpreting the Vague and Ambiguous. On Time and It Works. Drafting Checklist. Remedies for Breach of Contract. Your Agent May Bind You to a Contract?
17. Employee Negligence and Other Harmful Behavior.
Employee Torts and Your Liability. Negligence Can Hurt. Defenses to Negligence. Products Liability: Defects That Cause Harm. Intentional Torts from Battery to Libel. Remedies for the Injured. Helpful Sources.
18. Suing or Being Sued: Basics of Litigation.
Where to File Your Lawsuit. Civil Procedure: Complaint to Trial. Small Claims Court. Alternatives to Litigation. Helpful Sources.
V. PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS ASSETS.
19. Consumer Rights and Your Responsibilities.
Advertising Without Misleading. Deceptive Sales Practices to Avoid. Consumer Safety Laws. Credit Where Credit Is Due. Helpful Sources.
20. Extending Credit and Collecting from a Reluctant Debtor.
Getting Paid: The Options. Securing the Loan with Collateral. Collection Process: Letter to Collecting the Judgment. Debtor Bankruptcy. Helpful Sources.
21. TMs, SMs, Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets.
Making Your Mark. Copyrighting Printed or Recorded Work. Patents for Useful Things. Trade Secrets Kept. Helpful Sources.
22. ABCs of Administrative Law.
Agency Authority from Statutes. Agency Rules Are the Law. Adjudicating Rights and Wrongs. Agency in Action: The Zoning Board. Small Business Rights.
23. Wave of the Now: The Net or Home.
Your Domain Is Your Kingdom. E-Commerce: Your Dot.Com. Cyberlaw: New Wine in Old Skins. Your Home Is Your Office. Helpful Sources.
VI. LOOKING AHEAD AND CLOSING DOWN.
24. Insolvent: Coping and Bankruptcy Protection.
Protecting Your Personal Assets. Arrangements with Creditors. Making the Tough Decisions. Bankruptcy: 7 or 11. Taxes and Bankruptcy. Helpful Sources.
25. Your Estate Plan Includes the Business.
Business and Other Assets. Avoiding Probate. Estate and Gift Taxes for Life Planning. Wills and Trusts: Documents You Need. Marriage and Divorce Has Its Effect. Business Successor Planning. Helpful Sources.
Appendix A: Glossary of Legal Terms.
Appendix B: The Forms You'll Need.