New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses

The new year is upon us, and many people have already settled upon their personal new year’s resolutions for 2017.  Maybe you want to eat better, or perhaps you will walk the dog more often. But what about small business resolutions? January is a slow period for many industries, so it is a great time of […]

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Alternative Dispute Resolution: Some Considerations

By default, most civil disputes are litigated in court.  Unfortunately, litigation is expensive and inefficient.  In fact, civil litigation can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Litigation can take a horrifying toll not only on individuals, but also on small businesses.  It is impossible to avoid all disputes.  However, litigation can drain a […]

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Quick Business Tip: It’s Time to Call an Attorney

Calling an attorney can be expensive.  Sometimes, not calling an attorney can be even more expensive.  As a small business owner, it is important to recognize when you need an attorney.  This can be especially difficult when you are not involved in a dispute, but you may instead need an attorney for small business counsel or transaction assistance. […]

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Understanding Annual Meetings

It’s almost the end of the year.  Has your business held its 2016 annual meeting?  If you have, give yourself a quick pat on the back.  However, if you are one of the many small business owners that does not hold regular meetings, please read on. YOU SHOULD BE HOLDING ANNUAL MEETINGS Colorado law requires […]

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Quick Business Tip: Trademark Maintenance and Trademark Spam

Today’s post contains two quick tips, and they are both about federal trademarks. The first tip is that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) does not babysit trademarks.  The USPTO has very recently started sending out trademark maintenance reminders, but the trademark applicant/owner is ultimately responsible for keeping track of deadlines, including maintenance deadlines.  Trademark owners should not […]

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Quick Business Tip: Follow Your Management Directive

The operation of your limited liability entity is generally governed by two things:  the statutes in your state pertaining to your type of entity, and your own management directive (e.g., partnership agreement, bylaws, or operating agreement, depending on the type of entity). State statutes contain requirements for the formation, operation, and dissolution of limited liability entities.  See, […]

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“Creating” Independent Contractors with Independent Contractor Agreements: It Doesn’t Work That Way

We need to clear up a serious misconception about independent contractors.  What many business owners fail to understand is that there is no magic formula for “creating” independent contractors.  You, as a business owner and an employer, cannot magically turn employees into contractors.  Your attorney also cannot magically turn employees into contractors. What we are trying to tell […]

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Business Structures Cheat Sheet

This post is adapted from a short presentation Annmarie Cording gave regarding business structures in Colorado.  If you ever have any questions about business structures, speak to an attorney licensed to practice in your state.   1)      Sole Proprietorship:  unregistered business, owned and run by one person Liability protection: none, owner is responsible for all business […]

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The Very Basics of Trade Secret, Part 2

In The Very Basics of Trade Secret, Part 1, I talked about trade secrets and how they compare to other types of IP.  In this post, I provide some suggestions for protecting your trade secrets: 1)         Identify your trade secrets and mark them “CONFIDENTIAL.”  Don’t expect personnel and third parties to know something is confidential without […]

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The Very Basics of Trade Secret, Part 1

Small businesses are often strongly encouraged to obtain copyrights, trademarks, and patents.  There can be a lot of pressure from the small business community to fill your intellectual property portfolio with these types of intellectual property (IP).  Often, the perception is that you need copyrights, trademarks, and patents to make your company valuable. While these […]

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