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Licensing Agreements Can Grow Your Business

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer

A license agreement is a contract in which one party grants another party permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal. These types of licenses are common for intellectual property protected by copyright, patent, or trademark. It can include a proprietary way of doing business, such as real estate investing or even operating a yoga studio.

Licensing agreements are more flexible than franchises because they are not heavily regulated by the government, are more flexible, and are less expensive to create and control than a franchise. Licenses promote entrepreneurs instead of suffocating them with a one-size-fits-all method of doing business one finds with franchises.

There are two primary ways to grow your business through licensing: (1) find others who are willing to pay licensing fees for what you own and make money by replicating your business through these licensees; and (2) become a licensee for the rights to something that would be profitable for your business to use.

If you’ve invented the wheel, license it and make money. If you haven’t, don’t reinvent it. License it from the inventor.

Buy-Sell Agreements Can Protect Ownership of Your Business

By Internet Lawyer

A buy-sell agreement, also known as a buy-and-sell agreement, allows business owners to make arrangements by contract for surviving owners to buy out the interest of a co-owner who dies or decides to leave the company. Whether your business operates as a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company, a buy-sell agreement can help you plan for the future.
This type of contract can provide for mandatory or optional purchases of an owner’s interest upon death, divorce, bankruptcy, retirement, and other events. Because you, your co-owners, and your company operate under unique circumstances, a one-size-fits-all approach usually doesn’t cut it when creating a buy-sell agreement.

You should prepare to make the best of all circumstances that can trigger a buyout so that your business continues operating and each owner benefits from the advance planning made in the buy-sell agreement.

And because circumstances often change both on a business and personal level, it is important to have any existing buy-sell agreement reviewed on a regular basis with your lawyer to ensure that it still accurately reflects what you want.

Bilingual Marketing Pitfalls

By Internet Lawyer

Be sure you comply with U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements if you’re marketing goods or services to consumers in Spanish or another foreign language.

The FTC isn’t something to mess with…and the last thing your business needs is a class action lawsuit by a bunch of consumers who claim your translated marketing materials were misleading or deceptive.

Hat tip to Martin Arias at HispanicBusiness.com

A Good Year For Buying And Selling Businesses?

By Internet Lawyer

Business brokers think this will be a great year for purchases and sales of businesses. One of the factors cited is Baby Boomer retirement. This will only increase during the next several years as they look to cash out their equity in small businesses to fund retirement.

If you’re considering buying one of these businesses, be sure that you’re not overpaying. Many small business owners have an overinflated view of the value of their enterprises, mistaking personal pride for something that should be part of the purchase price.

One common red flag to consider is the seller who operates with two sets of books – one for the IRS and one which he uses to justify the asking price for his business.

Run, don’t walk, away from such an “opportunity.” The person who commits tax fraud will cut corners elsewhere, leaving you with liability exposure that will outweigh the upside of the deal.