Legal

Trademark Infringement – The Identity Theft of Businesses

Originally published: 02.01.14 by Beniam Biftu

The most important aspect of your business is its identity – its trademark™

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9 Steps for Reducing Your Exposure to Employee Injury Fraud

Originally published: 11.01.13 by Greg Smith

9 Steps for Reducing Your Exposure to Employee Injury Fraud

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The Legal Liabilities of Electronic Marketing

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Christopher Corpus

You need to err on the side of caution when sending customers email. This article reveals how to make sure you’re following the letter of the law.

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4 Ways To Avoid Discrimination Claims Related to Hiring

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Mike Coyne

Be aware that a person can sue you even before they become an employee.

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Address Texting-While-Driving Head On

Originally published: 07.01.12 by Mike Coyne

This theory of liability applies when employees are acting within the scope of employment or for the benefit of employer.

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5 Drivers of Successful Mergers, Acquisitions

Originally published: 07.01.12 by

Due diligence is important, but so is identifying a growth strategy in advance.

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Keep Corporate Debt Separate from Personal Debt

Originally published: 06.01.12 by Mike Coyne

If you are operating your business in corporate form, it is important to follow formalities. You should sign contracts in your capacity as an officer, and contracts should always be between your corporation and the other party. You should never be named as a party to the contract.

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Give Your Section 401(k) Plan a Compliance Check

Originally published: 05.01.12 by Mike Coyne

10 point checklist will tell you if your plan needs an adjustment according to the IRS's latest 401(k) Fix-It Guide

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Immigration-Law Changes Add To Employer Responsibility

Originally published: 04.01.12 by Mike Coyne

Two developments in the immigration law area are causing employers a great deal of concern: the increase in so-called "I-9 Audits” and the Social Security Administration's resumption of the "No-Match" Letter Program.

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IRS Targets Independent Contractors

Originally published: 03.01.12 by Mike Coyne

IRS reclassification of workers as employees can be an expensive proposition, as the employer can be held liable for back payroll taxes, penalties, and interest.

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Partners Should Plan Ahead For Disability

Originally published: 02.01.12 by Mike Coyne

Dealing with a disabled partner is never an easy matter. Human nature is such that many of us would find it difficult to ask a disabled partner to step aside due to his or her disability. Yet, this is often the only solution.

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Medical Marijuana Clouds Employer Drug-Use Policies For Employees

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Mike Coyne

Until recently, it has been fairly well understood that an employer can require pre-employment drug testing and refuse to hire someone who tests positively for illegal drugs. However, changes in the law with respect to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes have made it difficult for employers to know how far they can go to maintain a drug-free workplace.

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Protecting Against Data-Related Risks

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Matthew Stangle

This exposure is excluded in standard general liability policies, but may be insured separately under a policy that covers “electronic-data incidents” resulting in damage to, loss of, loss of use of, cor- ruption of, inability to access, or inability to properly manipulate, electronic data.

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The Right Way To Fire An Underperforming Employee

Originally published: 11.01.11 by Mike Coyne

A termination decision should be communicated quickly, calmly, and concisely to the employee. Rapoport notes that it is a time for action not talk.

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How To Resolve Disputes In Family-Owned Businesses

Originally published: 10.01.11 by Mike Coyne

Family-owned businesses present unique and difficult problems that are generally not found in other closely-held businesses.

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Changes Coming To Retirement Plans

Originally published: 10.01.11 by Mike Coyne

If you currently have a retirement plan that allows you to make large contributions, you may want to think about maximizing your contributions this year, as the opportunity may not be available in the future. It's also a good time to discuss personal contributions and 401(k) fee-disclosure rules with your plan investment adviser or broker.

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Controversial Labor Reversals Overshadow Idle Congress

Originally published: 10.01.11 by Charlie McCrudden

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Does Your Business Need an Outside Board of Directors?

Originally published: 08.01.11 by Mike Coyne

An advisory board might be a better option for business owners.

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Be Weary of Retirement-Plan Checks That Show Up Unexpectedly

Originally published: 07.01.11 by Mike Coyne

If you get a check and do not know why he received it, check with your retirement plan advisers first. Chances are the check belongs to your retirement plan.

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Employee Handbooks Can Provide Important Legal Protection

Originally published: 06.01.11 by Mike Coyne

Regardless of the number of employees you have, you have to inform them of you policies. The best way to communicate these is through an employee manual. It will also provide your business important protection.

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Copyright Vs. Trademark

Originally published: 05.01.11 by Mike Coyne

How to navigate the murky waters of intellectual property rights. In this article, legal expert Mike Coyne differentiates between copyright and trademark and how they apply to your business name, slogan, fleet design and marketing materials.

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Simple Cafeteria Plan Could Address Health Insurance Fears

Originally published: 04.01.11 by Mike Coyne

A new type of benefit plan created by President Obama’s healthcare reform that was passed in 2010 may help smaller businesses satisfy potentially costly nondiscrimination requirements

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Health Insurance: Be Aggressive About Redesigning Plans

Originally published: 03.01.11 by Mike Coyne

Get answers to questions about the new healthcare law.

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Take Advantage of Estate Tax Benefits

Originally published: 02.01.11 by Mike Coyne

Improvements to the estate tax law in 2011 offer business owners and familyowned businesses some interesting planning opportunities during the next two years.

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Social Media Poses Legal Risks for Businesses

Originally published: 12.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Although social media has many benefits, be aware of the employer liability regarding employee’s participation on a social media sites.

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Use Trusts For Continuity Planning and Avoiding Probate

Originally published: 11.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Trusts can provide benefits even for incorporated businesses.

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How to Plan For Your Extended Absence

Originally published: 10.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Find the best way to plan for your business to succeed whether or not you are present for the daily operations.

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Are You Using Contract Labor?

Originally published: 09.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Congress considering changes to address 'worker misclassification' regarding independent contractors.

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Healthcare Reform: Readers’ Questions Answered

Originally published: 08.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Changes coming this fall but recipients won't be taxes on benefits. Readers raise questions about the healthcare reform and we answer.

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How Health Reform Threatens Small Business Health Plans

Originally published: 07.01.10 by Mike Coyne

The problems facing small businesses due to healthcare reform are two-fold.

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Managing Fleet Liability Risk

Originally published: 06.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Your fleet is an indispensable part of your business. Literally, it is your means to reach customers. It also represents a significant liability risk. These are ways to manage the risk.

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Estate-Tax Repeal Leaves Many Unknowns

Originally published: 04.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Business owners should consider pitfalls and special circumstances before reviewing estate plans.

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How to Be a Savvy Negotiator for Commercial Leases

Originally published: 03.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Consider more than just the rental rate when evaluating commercial property and negotiating leases.

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Tactics for Avoiding Lawsuits

Originally published: 02.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Litigation is always the result of a failure of people to deal with each other reasonably.

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Carefully Consider Coverage for Liability

Originally published: 01.01.10 by Mike Coyne

Too often, customers do not appreciate that such demands for protection against damages cannot be accommodated without exceptional costs that translate into significantly higher prices for services.

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Is Identity Theft a Looming Risk For Your Business?

Originally published: 12.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Companies that accept and extend credit need to comply with the new "red flag" rules.

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How to Take Control From Minority Shareholders

Originally published: 11.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Several options focus on shares and voting. Also, consider alternatives before rewarding key employees with ownership shares.

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Corporate Control Can Be Complicated

Originally published: 08.02.09 by Mike Coyne

Agreements among shareholders concerning corporate control must be carefully drafted and usually must comply with very specific state laws. This is one time when a competent lawyer's help is absolutely necessary.

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Controlling Healthcare Insurance Costs

Originally published: 08.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Every contractor should be watching what is happening with healthcare costs. If you already provide employee health insurance, you are well aware of how rising insurance premiums affect your business.

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Who Can See Personnel Files?

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Who in your company do you permit to see personnel files? The second question is a legal one: Who is permitted to see personnel files as a matter of law?

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Homeowners Have Limited Liability for Worker Injury

Originally published: 06.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Is an hvacr contractor responsible for injuries to an employee by hazards in a customer's home?

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Rules for Retaining Tax Records

Originally published: 03.01.09 by Mike Coyne

An explanation and some clarity on the IRS guidelines

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Protecting Your Right to Get Paid

Originally published: 01.01.09 by Mike Coyne

Mechanic’s liens can assist you in collecting from a non-paying customer; however, statutes exist in all 50 states, and the rules vary dramatically. If you’re going to use this statute, first know the law as it exists in your state.

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Addressing Business Disputes

Originally published: 12.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Incorporate the option for alternative dispute resolution in your service agreements as an inexpensive and less detrimental way of resolving would-be problems.

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Exercise Caution With Government Contracts

Originally published: 09.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Detailed records are the best defense against potential false-claims allegations.

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Workplace Violence - Are You Liable?

Originally published: 08.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Your employees could land you in trouble.

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The Impact of Consumer Protection Laws

Originally published: 06.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Being a good contractor means being truthful and fair. Know what is expected of you.

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Disability Insurance Basics

Originally published: 05.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Helping companies attract and retain good workers.

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Can Big Brother Watch?

Originally published: 03.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Adopting workplace privacy policies is a prudent business practice.

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Growth by Acquisition

Originally published: 02.01.08 by Mike Coyne

Identifying and acquiring businesses takes finesse.

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Take Stock In Rewards

Originally published: 01.01.08 by Mike Coyne

There are a myriad smart ways to reward key employees. Issuing company stock isn't one of them.

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Independent Contractor or Employee?

Originally published: 11.01.07 by Mike Coyne

The Internal Revenue Service has rules for determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor.

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Pre-Employment Screening Requires Caution

Originally published: 10.01.07 by Mike Coyne

To find the best people, you need to adopt good hiring practices. Pre-employment screening should be one aspect of these hiring practices. However, you need to be aware that there are important limitations on an employer’s right to pre-screen potential employees.

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Protect Your Company with a Corporate Minute Book

Originally published: 09.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Corporate minutes can help ensure that owners shield themselves from being held legally responsible for corporate business failures. In addition, they can help quickly settle inevitable shareholder disputes, smooth business transactions and even help answer questions during an audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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When Soldiers Return From Service

Originally published: 09.01.07 by Mike Coyne

What you need to know about military personnel's reemployment rights.

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Why your limited liability company needs an operating agreement.

Originally published: 08.01.07 by Mike Coyne

A good operating agreement can be a useful tool for running your business as an LLC.

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Safety For All

Originally published: 08.01.07 by Tonya Vinas

The number of Spanish-speaking skilled workers in the hvacr trade is increasing, a trend that presents many challenges to business owners. Fortunately, many groups have started to provide materials in Spanish focused on training and safety.

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How Effective Are Non-competition Agreements?

Originally published: 07.01.07 by Mike Coyne

If you need a non-competition agreement to protect your business, you will need to get legal help and follow these guidelines.

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Take Sexual-Harassment Claims Seriously

Originally published: 06.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Written policies and clear instructions are two ways to protect your business from costly claims.

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Complying With Immigration Law In Hiring

Originally published: 05.01.07 by Mike Coyne

The safest way to avoid problems under the immigration laws is to understand your responsibilities as an employer.

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Analyzing Financial Statements, Part 1 of 2

Originally published: 04.01.07 by Ruth King

Unfortunately, many contractors pay more attention to blueprints than financial statements. To make good business decisions in your company, you must analyze your financial statements each month. Ruth King presents the first of 10 ratios that can help you analyze your business.

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Know Your Liabilities Before Borrowing

Originally published: 03.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Commercial lenders have a great deal more latitude in designing their loan agreements. Likewise, borrowers have the opportunity to negotiate for terms that will fit their business needs.

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How to Protect Your Business Secrets

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Your trade secrets may consist of customer lists, training manuals, financial records, contracts with distributors, and the like, that would be very valuable to your competition. Keep them secret with some of these simple, inexpensive steps

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Tips For Serving Alcohol Responsibly

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Mike Coyne

If you are planning on serving alcohol at your business or office party, here are some planning ideas that can minimize your liability risk.

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Be Careful with Letters of Intent

Originally published: 07.01.06 by Mike Coyne

Find out why letters of intent may be binding and some practical advice when crafting them.

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Will Your Business Die With You?

Originally published: 06.01.06 by Mike Coyne

Strategies for leaving your company to family members.

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Getting Ready To Sell Your Business

Originally published: 1/1/10 by

A successful sale of any business requires planning, and some of that planning must start well before the business is even offered for sale. Here are some ideas on how to get your business, and yourself, ready for a sale.

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Spotting Legal Land Mines in Your Social Media Campaign

Originally published: 1/1/10 by

Your responsibility extends to third-party contributors such as customers and friends.

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Tax Planning

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Mike Coyne

Forecasting your annual tax benefits for 2009 may help you increase your business.

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