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

Should You Hire a Business Broker to Help Sell Your Business?

"I run a small manufacturing business. We have only one product, but it's a doozy; even during the pandemic, our annual sales have been in the mid-six figures. Since I'm the only one working in the business, our profit margins are 80% or better.

"We had a patent and trademark for this product years ago, but I let them both expire. There's ...Read more

Thinking About a Telehealth Practice?

"I am a young (mid-30s) physician who has just completed his residency and recently bought a suburban general medicine (internist) practice.

Your column last week about building a successful medical practice struck a chord with me, and I hope you won't mind a related question.

My practice is in a rural area, and, while I have enough patients...Read more

How to Destroy a Thriving Medical Practice

"I am a young (mid-30s) physician who has just completed his residency and wants to buy a suburban general medicine (internist) practice.

"I have been a fan of your YouTube videos for years and wonder if you have any advice for me -- not so much on how to buy the practice but how to keep the patients on board after I do."

First of all, let ...Read more

'Moonlighting' and the Law

"I am a full-time employee at a large tech company.

"My son, who lives in another state, wants to start a small consulting business. He will need my personal expertise in servicing his clients, because I have more knowledge of the technology than he has. He wants to set up a limited liability company for this business and give me a one-third ...Read more



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