Moving a Company When You Can't Stay Put

"I'm an Army wife looking to start up a home-based graphics and web design business. I know I need to set things up legally -- and desperately want to, but my problem is our upcoming out of state move. My husband's been given orders to become a recruiter which means he'll be shipped off to Recruiter School soon and upon graduation in the ...Read more

The Right Way to Exit a Franchise

A lot of corporate executives who have been downsized, especially those in their 40s and 50s, are looking to buy franchises. Their thinking seems to go something like this:

--"My 401(k) has lost a ton of value, and there aren't any safe investments out there right now, so why not use at least some of what's left in my 401(k) to provide an ...Read more

Tips on Selling a Franchised Business: Part 2 of 2

Now that you have the information you need from your attorney in order to sell your franchise territory to a neighboring franchisee, here are some of the questions you will need to ask your accountant:

1) How should the purchase price be allocated for tax purposes? When you buy a business of any kind (franchised or otherwise), you are acquiring...Read more

Tips on Selling a Franchised Business: Part 1 of 2

"I bought a franchise several years ago, and while I made back my initial investment, it hasn't exactly made me rich and I'm no longer that excited about running the business. Also, my husband and I want to retire and move to Florida to be closer to our grandkids. The franchisee in the territory next to ours has made us an offer to buy our ...Read more

The Dangers of Buying an Early-Stage Franchise: Part 2 of 2

Now that you've assessed the viability of an early-stage-franchise business model, it's time to drill down on the franchise disclosure document, or FDD, and look for potential trouble spots.

First, look at the franchise name and logo. Are they compelling? Can people driving down the street, look at your sign and know instantly what type of ...Read more

The Dangers of Buying an Early-Stage Franchise: Part 1 of 2

"My husband and I have been looking to buy a fast-food franchise for some time. The problem is that we cannot afford the large upfront fee that most established franchises want. We recently found a franchise that we really like, and the upfront fee is only $10,000. The problem is that the franchise is only five years old. We would be only the ...Read more

When a Business Has 2 Sets of Books

"My spouse and I have been looking to buy a business for some time. We've found a good local business with a great location and lots of existing customers.

"The seller wants us to pay one and one-half times his gross sales last year, which our accountant says is a fair price. The seller has also agreed to let us pay him 40 percent of the ...Read more

Turn Your Emails Into Cash

As frequent readers of this column know, I am not the biggest fan of email.

Each day, I find myself answering at least 30 to 40 emails on matters related to my law practice, the books I've written, upcoming speaking engagements and messages from old college friends who are preparing to attend our 45-year reunion this year, to say nothing of (...Read more

Don't Let Your Education Get in the Way of Your Success

"I was laid off from a corporate job over a year ago, and have since been looking for work as a high-level consultant to senior management of large organizations. Frankly, no one seems to want what I have to offer. I have received several offers to join smaller companies, but frankly I'm afraid I would be underemployed if I accepted any of ...Read more

6 Ways to Value a Small Business

The toughest part of drafting any owners agreement for a corporation partnership or limited liability company LLC is figuring out how to value the company when a triggering event (somebody dies, divorces, withdraws from the business, etc.) occurs and an owner must be bought out.

The following are the six basic approaches:

Nominal Value. Some...Read more

The Greatest Motivator and How to Harness It

Can you believe we're halfway through 2018 already? Here's a sobering question for my readers: How many of your New Year's resolutions for 2018 have you accomplished?

Betcha dollars to a doughnut your answer is none.

The key to success with any resolution -- personal, business or otherwise -- is will power. We all start out with the best of ...Read more

The Greatest Freedom of All

Every Fourth of July weekend, it's common to talk about the freedoms and liberties we enjoy (and frequently take for granted) as Americans -- freedoms that few other countries on Earth can match. We are proud of them, and we should be.

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (known as the Bill of Rights) list a number of these basic ...Read more

Making Sure Company Founders Are Diluted Fairly

"A couple of months ago I started a Web-based company with two college friends. We agreed that I would have 20 percent of the stock in this company, and that my two friends would split the remaining 80 percent equally (40 percent each). That is okay with me, because this is really going to be their company -- I'm just designing and putting ...Read more


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