Dealing With the Trademark Bully

"I started an online business last year. We've had an amazing run so far, with over 10,000 unique hits every day on our website, and a 30 percent gross profit margin on sales of over $250,000 in our first year. Our site has been written up in some major magazines, and we are getting attention from industry bloggers who have rated our site very...Read more

How Should Small Businesses Respond to the GDPR?

"My partner and I run a small software business that caters to a niche market.

"Our customers (all businesses -- we don't sell to individuals) are located primarily in the United States and Canada, but we do have two corporate customers in the United Kingdom that account for less than 1 percent of our total global revenue. We don't advertise ...Read more

Is Blockchain the Solution to the World's Problems?

Have you ever picked up two books that seemed to be about two entirely different subjects only to realize they were pretty much the same?

Book No. 1: Last week, I was very excited to receive a review copy of Jim Blasingame's latest book, "The 3rd Ingredient: The Journey of Analog Ethics Into the World of Digital Fear and Greed."

For those ...Read more

Does Your Business Qualify as Women- or Minority-Owned?

"My husband and I started a consulting business a while back, and we are finding ourselves getting more and more business from government agencies and nonprofit organizations. There's only one problem: many of these people want to know if we are a 'minority-owned enterprise' or a 'female-owned enterprise' so they can comply with federal and ...Read more

Do Personal Guarantees Go on Forever?

"My partner and I bought a small business five years ago from the person who originally started it. We assumed his existing lease for a terrific retail space, and personally guaranteed the lease. As we are both getting ready to retire, we decided to sell the business. We found a great buyer, who is willing to pay us an above-market price ...Read more

Getting the 'Three Stooges' out of Your LLC Operating Agreement

"I just started a limited liability company (LLC) with three partners. Our attorney drafted an Operating Agreement for us, but I'm a little confused by the buyout provisions he drafted.

"The agreement says that if one of us dies, becomes disabled, or otherwise withdraws from the company, we have to buy his shares in the company so the ...Read more

Exorcising the Ghost of Partners Past

"Three years ago, I started a business with two other guys. We set up a limited liability company (LLC), and split the ownership 40 percent, 40 percent and 20 percent.

"The business grew for about a year but then really tapered off when the recession hit. All three of us had to take 'day jobs' just to make ends meet, but we kept the business ...Read more

Does Your Employer Own Everything You Create?

"I'm a full-time employee (W-2) for a large financial institution.

"In my spare time, I have been doing research on a new technology product that will have a dramatic impact on the financial industry, and would like to write a book about it. I am concerned, however, that if my employer finds out about this project that they will claim ...Read more

3 Easy Things the IRS Should Do to Help Small Businesses

With tax time once again upon us, it is time to give some thought to the agency we all love to hate this time of year: the Internal Revenue Service.

While nobody likes paying taxes and anyone who's been through an IRS audit probably doesn't have warm and fuzzy feelings toward the agency and its personnel, I do have more than a little sympathy...Read more

Getting -- and Keeping -- the 'One-Percent Edge'

Dozens -- if not hundreds -- of small business how-to books are published each year. Most of them aren't worth reading, and some merely rehash the same old ground over and over again; they're as useful as a refresher course, but that's about it.

Whenever Susan Solovic puts pen to paper, the result is a must-read. The columnist, media ...Read more

Dealing With Taxes When You Sell Your Stock

"I invested in a small business corporation several years ago. The investment hasn't worked out the way I thought it would, and now I'm looking for the exit door.

"Is there any way I can recoup some of my investment by taking a deduction on my taxes?"

The short answer to this question is maybe.

First, take a look at the corporation's books ...Read more

Initial Coin Offerings: Are They Legal?

It seems like only yesterday -- wait, it WAS only yesterday -- we were trying to wrap our brains around cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.

It seems like only this morning -- wait, it WAS this morning -- we were trying to figure out what a blockchain is all about.

Now for the newest buzzword for creative finance: the initial coin ...Read more

Business Tips for Artists

"My husband is a famous artist but isn't really good at the business side of things. I've just retired from a corporate job and want to help him out.

What's the best way to set up a business like this one, and what are some of the things I need to know about to help him?"

Many of my clients are engaged in creative businesses -- artists, ...Read more


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