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PITFALL: Giving equity to employees prematurely

Many new business owners believe that giving a percentage of the business to employees will create a sense of ownership in this business and engender greater loyalty and work ethic. This is not necessarily true as not everyone has the…

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PITFALL: No team of advisors

If you have read through points 1-10, you realize that you may know a lot about the product or service you sell, but there are many aspects to running a business about which you know little and which can cause…

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PITFALL: Failure to adhere to corporate formalities

One of the main reasons we form corporations or LLCs is to avoid personal asset exposure for business liabilities. This “corporate (or company) veil” of protection that an entity provides can be “pierced” in certain circumstances and one of these…

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PITFALL: No contracts or insufficient contracts

This can be one of the costliest mistakes in operating a business. The list of potential problems is too long to share in this format, but agreements, even between trusted friends, can go very badly over time especially with the…

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PITFALL: No exit strategy

Another basic question Scheufler Law asks entrepreneurs is “What is your exit strategy?” More often than not, the response is a blank stare. Entrepreneurs are frequently so excited about the prospect of starting a new business that they do not…

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PITFALL: No business plan- substandard business plan

The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is so relevant when it comes to business. And how would you know if you are succeeding if you don’t know where you are heading? A business plan is the…

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PITFALL: Un-researched or un-protected name

Trademarks and tradenames can be the most valuable asset of a business. The goodwill, or reputation, associated with a name or mark often determines the value at the time of sale. As well, many thousands, even millions, of dollars are…

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PITFALL: Starting with the wrong business structure or entity

Each business structure or entity, whether a sole proprietor, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, and corporation (c-corp or s-corp), has advantages and disadvantages. There are tax implications, financing advantages, and liability protection attributes associated with…

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MYTH: DIY services are just as good as going to a lawyer and will save money

Reading any of the other MYTHS should dispel this notion, but if you have come to this MYTH first, to summarize: Litigation is a complex process that is rampant with pitfalls. Every legal question should be properly analyzed by a…

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MYTH: A trust will protect my property from creditors

This is true in some very specific cases, but the type of trust that provides asset protection is typically a third party trust where the trustee, who has control over all of the assets in the trust, is someone not…

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MYTH: LLCs are the best entity choice and the only one that gives liability protection

Many people think that the name “limited liability company” (LLC) denotes that this is the only business structure or entity type that provides liability protection. LLCs have only been in existence throughout the US since the 1990s. They are a…

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MYTH: A registered TM is absolute protection of a name or mark

Registering a trademark or tradename is an essential step in protecting valuable intellectual property and the associated goodwill of a business. However, an undiscovered senior user, someone who has used even a “confusingly similar” name or mark, can bring a…

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MYTH: I own the domain so I have a right to the name

I hear this so often when discussing name protection with business clients. Registering a domain name, without more, only prevents others from registering that particular and exact domain. There are many avenues through which to register a business name and…

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MYTH: Tax laws are my enemy

The tax code, as with all statutes, is full of opportunities for businesses and individuals to save money and increase revenues. Tax planning goes hand in hand with business and legal planning. At Scheufler Law, I work with many competent…

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MYTH: If I do everything legally, I cannot be sued

An audience member at a talk I was giving once remarked that you can be sued by a ham sandwich. Well this is not necessarily true, but you can be sued anytime, anywhere, by anyone, even if you have done…

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MYTH: There is only one answer to legal questions

Often the most exasperating answer to clients’ legal questions is “it depends”. This is the answer to almost every question we analyze in law school and it takes a while even for to get used to this. Legal questions are…

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MYTH: The Myth of Justice

Many people believe that justice reigns supreme; in other words, that if you are in the right, have followed the law to the letter, a legal dispute will be resolved in your favor. This is not necessarily true for several…

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