Some Legal and Tax Tips for Professional Speakers

"I do a lot of public speaking to promote my small business. Most of my speaking is for local organizations; I don't charge them a fee, and there's no contract involved. But lately I've been contacted by some event planners to speak at trade shows around the country, and their contracts are several pages long! What are some of the things I ...Read more

Before You Start Your Business Opportunity (Part 2 of 2)

You have built a successful business and have set up a training program to teach people how to start and run that business successfully. They don't have to use your name, nor will they be given assigned territories. But they will have to pay a sizable upfront fee for the training program, and pay additional amounts for annual refresher courses...Read more

Before You Start Your Business Opportunity (Part 1 of 2)

"We have operated a successful service business for many years.

We no longer want to run the business ourselves, but we think this type of business is an excellent opportunity for other people. So we have come up with a training program to teach other people how to build a business like ours.

Customers will pay $10,000 up front for the ...Read more

In Praise of 'Quiet Competence'

On the rare occasions I have time to just read for reading's sake, I try to stay away from books on business and economics (too much like work). But somehow, almost always, I learn things that my entrepreneur readers can benefit from.

While most folks are out reading the latest Stephen King, or chilling with a dog-eared murder mystery from ...Read more

What To Look For in Franchise Documents (Part 2 of 2)

Here are five more questions to ask when reviewing a franchise's Franchise Disclosure Document:

No. 6: Is the Management Team Seasoned and Well Experienced?

Don't gloss over the management biographies in the back of the FDD; take out a magnifying glass and pay close attention to them. How long have these individuals been with the franchise? If...Read more

What To Look For in Franchise Documents (Part 1 of 2)

"I was recently laid off from a corporate job and have decided not to return to corporate America. I'm thinking about buying a franchise, but their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is over 100 pages long, and I really don't know where to begin. Do you have any tips for reviewing FDDs, and the questions I should be asking these folks?"

Here ...Read more

Finding Yourself in a Legal Gray Area

Twice a year, I host a program for the New York State Bar Association targeting young lawyers who are looking to set up solo law practices.

These people ask a million questions, and while there are clear answers to many of them, there are some that simply cannot be answered because there aren't clear legal precedents.

Believe it or not, as ...Read more

My 'Entrepreneur of the Year' Nomination (Part 2 of 2)

Entrepreneurs are today's American heroes, and that's a good thing. But too many people have an unrealistic picture in their heads of how things are going to go. They think that being a successful entrepreneur means they will be universally loved and rewarded, both financially and psychologically, and that everything will go without a hitch as ...Read more

My Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination (Part 1 of 2)

"Like the guy in Psalm 130, I am writing to you out of the depths of despair.

I started a retail business last year involving a hot new technology. We needed some local real estate, and found a pretty good location, but when our contractor inspected the space after we signed the lease he discovered all kinds of environmental and structural ...Read more

Giving Your Lenders a Piece of the Action

"We started a tech company last year and are getting ready to launch our first product. To do so, we will need to borrow $200,000 from friends and family.

We have been told to structure this as a loan, but we want to give our family members a piece of our future growth if the company is successful. What are the various ways to do that? We don't...Read more

The Reform Small Business Really Needs: A Memo to the New Congress

As the new 118th Congress slouches its way toward Washington this week, America's small businesses and their owners may well be wondering, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Republicans control the House of Representatives (albeit by an extremely slim margin), where most tax and spending bills originate. While other tax initiatives may be ...Read more

Your New Year's Resolutions for 2023 (Part 2 of 2)

Here are some more New Year's resolutions for business owners.


If your business is selling stuff online, one of your biggest challenges is finding high-quality stuff to sell at a profit. If you're not currently taking consignments, you're out of your mind. Take out an ad in your local newspaper ...Read more

Your New Year's Resolutions for 2023

New Year's resolutions are all about habits. Breaking some bad ones (smoking, drinking excessively, binging on fast food) and starting new ones (working out, eating more Brussels sprouts).

Businesses, like individuals, develop bad habits over time that need correction, while success in business over the long run usually means adopting good ...Read more



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