Collecting Your Overdue Debts From a Distance

"Your YouTube video on collecting from deadbeat clients was truly inspiring. I am an electrical contractor who is owed $3,000 from a customer located way on the other side of the state. His business is selling a product made by others and installed by electrical contractors such as myself. He has no business assets, works from home and has no ...Read more

When SAFEs Aren't So Safe: Part 2 of 2

A simple agreement for future equity, or SAFE, is a contract between a company and an investor under which the investor puts money into the company in exchange for a promise to issue shares in the future upon the occurrence of a triggering event (usually the company's first round of venture capital financing).

Like preferred stock or ...Read more

When SAFEs Aren't So Safe: Part 1 of 2

"I am a successful entrepreneur who has decided to make an angel investment in a small startup company.

"I asked for preferred stock in the company, but the founders have offered me something called a SAFE instead. I've read the paperwork, and I confess I'm a bit confused about exactly what I'm getting. Reading about SAFEs online, it sounds ...Read more

Locking up Your Suppliers When Selling Online

"I have been selling merchandise on eBay and Amazon for some time. I would like to build a 'brand' for the merchandise that I sell, but I'm being told that the only way to do that (since I'm not the manufacturer of these goods, only the distributor) is to get an exclusive distributor agreement with each manufacturer so that I am the only ...Read more

Are You Smart, Educated or Both?

I was extremely touched to receive an email from a young lady in India who had read and was reacting to a column I wrote years ago called "The Trouble With Kids Today." In the column, I commented on the lack of entrepreneurial spirit and drive in a younger generation accustomed to having things given to them and structured for them.

Her email...Read more

When Your Business Is Targeted on Social Media

The past few weeks I've been getting emails from Nextdoor, a social network (supported by advertising) where people can report lost dogs, ask for contractor referrals, complain about noisy neighbors and basically do online what neighbors have done forever.

Recently, a post appeared with a complaint about the service at a local pizza joint, a ...Read more

Are You Selling Business Opportunities Without Knowing It?

"I have a small manufacturing business in the Midwest.

"For years, I have hired individuals to act as distributors for my products throughout the United States, similar to what the Avon cosmetics people do. They have assigned territories and cannot solicit business in a territory outside their own, but they can accept orders from anywhere.

"...Read more

Dealing With Celebrity Endorsements

"Some friends and I started a Web based business targeting people who play a particular sport.

"As it happens, one of the leading players of the sport -- a household name to fans -- has discovered our website and absolutely loves it. We have approached him about possibly endorsing our website, and he has expressed an interest in doing so.

"...Read more

Reviving the 'Walking Dead' Corporation

"In the late 1990s, I invented a product for the health care industry. I obtained patents for the product and registered trademarks for the product name. I even formed a corporation in Delaware and registered it in Texas, where my husband and I were living at that time. Then, my husband (also an entrepreneur) moved his business to New York to ...Read more

Do You Really Need a Business Plan?

"I am new to this country and am taking a class in the evenings on how to start my own business. I understand that you need a tax ID number and that it's a good idea to form a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) to protect myself from lawsuits. At what point in the process, though, should I prepare the business plan? Do I have to ...Read more

Teaching Lawyers About Cybersecurity

Let's face it; when it comes to professionals with technological savvy, lawyers are way, way down the list. I know lawyers who are still using Windows 98, if that gives you an idea (hey, it was a pretty good program).

So it was with great trepidation that I attended last week's Tech Summit in New York City sponsored by the New York State Bar ...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% of the purchase ...Read more


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