Rebuilding Corporate Records When They Don't Exist

"Two partners and I formed a media company in the 1990s that has turned out to be extremely successful.

"So successful, in fact, that we have received an offer from a large public company to buy us out at an astronomical price.

"We signed a letter with the company last week to move the deal forward, and the next thing we know, their ...Read more

Converting Your Business Into a Nonprofit

"My wife and I have been running a for-profit service business for the past 10 years.

"We have recently learned that our business may qualify as a nonprofit organization, as we frequently provide our services for free or at an extremely low cost to people who can't afford them.

"We're looking to retire shortly and think it would be fun to ...Read more

The Curse of the Million-Dollar Franchise

"About 10 years ago, I bought a franchise that provides an essential service for building contractors.

"Because the franchise was new, I was able to cut a terrific deal for a large territory in my state. I'm paying only a flat royalty fee each month, not a percentage of my gross sales as is typical for most franchises, so my margins are very ...Read more

When to Listen to Your Outside Director

"A friend of mine and I bought a metal fabrication business 15 years ago. We've been very successful and have increased sales and profits dramatically since we took over the business.

"For many years, my friend and I were the sole directors and shareholders of our corporation. A few years ago, on the advice of our accountant, we brought a ...Read more

Should You Hire a Contract Manufacturer?

"I'm a retired engineer who is spending his Golden Years designing new household products.

"I've obtained several patents for my inventions but haven't yet done anything with them. I've started getting emails from companies offering to take my patents and develop them into marketable products.

"The offers are tempting and appear to be low ...Read more

When Worlds Collide: Seller Financing and SBA Loans

"I read your recent column on selling a business and found it very useful when someone approached me a month ago offering to buy my small retail business. My wife and I have been thinking about retiring in Florida for some time now, so we felt that now was the time to make the move.

"Except we hit a snag and don't know what to do about it.

"...Read more

On Freedom and Entrepreneurship

Last week's column -- in which I gave my readers a (perhaps too) candid look into what I personally will be doing (and not doing) in the next year or two as we emerge from our pandemic foxholes -- generated a fair amount of comment, both positive and negative.

An example of the latter: "Up to now I've always respected what you do for the ...Read more

When We Emerge From Our Foxholes

Like just about everyone else right now, I'm wondering what life is going to be like once enough Americans have been vaccinated for COVID-19 that people feel comfortable venturing out into public life again.

For many small business owners, this is more than just an intellectual exercise: If you own a restaurant, bar, fitness facility or any ...Read more

Cheat Me Once, Shame on You; Cheat Me Twice...

Spring has sprung, and with the arrival of flowers, bunny rabbits and taxes come a trove of emails from building contractors proving beyond a doubt that "April is the cruelest month" for many small-business owners.

"I recently had an addition put on my house, and I became very friendly with our contractor and his son. While our contractor was...Read more

Nonfungible Tokens and the Law

Like most Americans, I was intrigued by the recent Christie's auction in which "Beeple," a digital artist, received $69.3 million for a digital artwork that was authenticated by a "nonfungible token" (or NFT).

Like most Americans, I hadn't the foggiest clue what an NFT was.

As a lawyer, I represent quite a few artists, photographers, writers...Read more

The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Programs

"I have a small line of consumer products that I promote mostly from our company website.

"A number of my competitors have set up affiliate programs in the past year, where people can sell their stuff from their own websites and get a commission. I'm thinking about doing the same, but our products have a 'luxury' cachet that I'm afraid will ...Read more



1 and Done RJ Matson Lisa Benson Poorly Drawn Lines Momma Pat Bagley