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Fairfield County business law attorney

What is in a name? When it comes to small businesses, the importance of your business’s name cannot be overstated. Choosing the right business name can increase brand recognition and establish your reputation. Once you have decided on a great name for your business, it is essential to take steps to protect that name. Failure to do so can lead to customer confusion, harm your bottom line, and even create legal problems.  

Choosing a Name for Your Company That Will Help Your Business Thrive

The name you choose for your business will become an integral part of your overall brand. When choosing a name, it is important to consider the scope of your business and whether you intend on growing your business in the future. Do not choose a name that limits you to only one type of product or service. It is also crucial to choose a name that is catchy, easy to pronounce, and gives potential customers an idea of what your business provides.

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Stamford, CT business law attorney

In the past several decades, the Internet has become a regular part of most people’s daily lives. Consumers use the Internet for everything from banking to choosing a restaurant. Online reviews can make or break a small business. If you are a Connecticut small business owner, you may be looking for ways to increase your profits and grow your business, especially after the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Whether you own a retail store, restaurant, marketing company, or another type of business, managing your online reputation is vital. The way that your business handles online reviews can be a major contributor to your business’s success or failure. Potential customers may also be looking at them for information on your company’s continued COVID-19 precautions. 

How Can Online Reviews Influence the Success of a Small Business?

Most consumers want to make an informed decision when it comes to spending their hard-earned money on products or services. Small businesses – especially startups and new businesses – must carefully manage their online presence. Whether the reviews are on Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or another website, online reviews can make a huge difference. One recent survey conducted by BrightLocal showed that nearly 90 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.

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Fairfield County business law attorney breach of contract

There are many perks to being a business owner, but you must always be vigilant for legal mistakes that could make your company vulnerable to lawsuits. A lawsuit against your small business has the potential to destroy not only the company but your personal finances as well. Preventing lawsuits is a vastly superior strategy compared to dealing with lawsuits once they have already been filed. One of the best ways that you can minimize the chances of your business being the subject of a lawsuit is to work with an experienced business law attorney.

Lawsuits That Could Dramatically Impact Your Business

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that your business will never be sued. However, there are many steps you can take to lower the chances of being successfully sued as much as possible. Some of the most common lawsuits affecting small businesses include:

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Stamford, CT business law attorney

When starting a business in Connecticut, one of the most overlooked issues is how to structure the business. The business entity that you choose will have a profound impact on your rights and responsibilities as a business owner. The way your business is taxed, the liability you expose yourself to as a business owner, and several other critical issues are affected by the business entity you select. Choosing the wrong business structure can lead to considerable financial and legal problems.

Deciding How to Structure Your Business

There are many different things to consider when choosing a business entity. One of the most significant differences between LLCs, partnerships, and other business entities is the degree to which the business owner’s personal assets are at risk. This is a major issue to consider when starting your business. You should also consider the tax implications of different business structures and whether you plan to share ownership with one or more individuals.

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Fairfield County family business law attorney

If you are like many people, you see business ownership as a means of determining your own destiny and creating a legacy. A family business can be a great way to ensure that you get to work with your loved ones on business ideas that you feel passionate about. The benefits of business ownership are considerable. However, starting a family business also involves substantial risk. When starting a family business, it is important to work with a skilled business law attorney so you can avoid mistakes that can lead to legal problems and financial hardship.  

Choose a Business Structure and Develop a Solid Business Plan First

For many aspiring business owners, one of the biggest appeals of starting a business is having a great deal of creative control over the business. You may be eager to name your business, start social media and marketing campaigns, and begin developing your products and services. However, the best way to ensure that your business will be as successful as possible is to first develop a business plan. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Your business plan should include information about:

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Long Island Sound business law attorney

Being a business owner comes with considerable perks. However, owning a business also takes a great deal of time and personal sacrifice. If you are currently a business owner or you plan to become one soon, the end of the year is a great time to take inventory of your situation and re-establish your goals for the new year. It is possible that the COVID-10 pandemic may have affected your company negatively this past year. Evaluating how you are spending your time, money, and effort is important to stay on the path to success and there is no better time to do so than now.

Find Sources of Wasted Time and Resources

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the best skills a business owner can develop is knowing when to give up on a particular project or idea. If you are like most business owners and entrepreneurs, there are projects on which you are spending a considerable amount of your time and energy that are not benefiting you. Think about how you invested your time in 2020. Have the ideas you invested in paid off or have they only led to frustration and dead ends? Beware of falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy. The new year may be the perfect time to abandon fruitless ideas in favor of ideas that have a greater chance of success.

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Stamford, CT business law attorney franchise

If you are ready to become a business owner, one option you may be considering is buying a franchise. Purchasing a franchise location of an existing company is a great way to start your journey into business ownership. Buying a franchise allows you to operate your business while still receiving guidance and leadership from the franchisor. However, a franchise is not the right choice for everyone. If you are thinking about buying a franchise, make sure to speak with an experienced business lawyer so you can avoid costly legal mistakes. Additionally, consider the following factors.

Your Business Goals and Personal Aspirations

Being the owner of a franchise is much different than starting your own business. The benefits of a franchise are plenty. The business will likely be profitable more quickly than a startup, you gain valuable resources and assistance from the parent company, and you benefit from the company’s established reputation. However, buying a franchise also limits the direct input you have on how the business is run. You will be expected to conform to the franchisor’s policies, rules, and procedures. If you are a person who thrives on creativity and independence, buying a franchise may not be the best option for you. However, if you are looking to buy a business that is ready to start operations immediately, a franchise may be the right choice. You will need to evaluate your own goals and aspirations to know whether buying this type of business is the best way to achieve these goals.   

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Greenwich business law attorney noncompete agreement

noncompete agreement, also called a “covenant not to compete,” is a contract that business owners often ask their employees to sign upon employment. Many people underestimate just how important this particular type of contract can be. A noncompete can help you protect your business from unfair competition and ensure that your employees do not use the information and practices they learned through you to undermine your business. However, noncompete clauses must meet certain criteria to be legally enforceable in Connecticut.  This is one reason why it is so important to have an experienced business lawyer review any employee contract for weaknesses or flaws.

How Can A Noncompete Benefit Me?

If you are like most business owners, you have probably put countless hours into your business. You may have honed your business strategies, pricing, sales techniques, marketing campaigns, employee policies and procedures, and other aspects of your business to be as efficient as possible. Even if you still have business goals and personal aspirations that you have not yet achieved, you are most likely closer to those goals now than you were when you first decided to start your company. A noncompete agreement helps protect all of this hard work from being used to benefit a competitor. When an employee signs a noncompete, he or she is agreeing not to work for a competing business for a certain period of time after leaving your company. This prevents the employee from using knowledge about your business to benefit a competitor or even to start his or her own competing business. Noncompete agreements may dissuade employees from leaving your company for a similar position at another company. They may also deter competitors from attempting to steal your most successful employees.

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Stamford, CT business law attorney

Although more and more companies are conducting business virtually these days, the location you choose for your business can have significant consequences. Your location has the potential to literally make or break your business. Choosing the wrong location can lead to financial problems, legal headaches, and fewer customers. However, many entrepreneurs and new business owners underestimate the importance of choosing the right business location. When deciding where to headquarter your startup, make sure to consider the following tips.

Focus on Increasing Customer Accessibility

You have probably already spent a great deal of time thinking about how to price your products and services. However, have you considered how accessibility could impact your profitability? Many shoppers are willing to pay slightly higher prices if a store or business is easy to get to or adjacent to an establishment they are already planning to visit. When choosing a location, consider how many of your customers will arrive on foot versus the number of customers who will drive. Make sure not to forget about parking concerns.

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Norwalk business attorney

Business ownership has numerous perks. You get to “be your own boss” and manage the business exactly the way you want. However, becoming a business owner also involves substantial risk. Studies show that about 20 percent of small businesses fail within a year. Many of the common mistakes business owners make can have substantial legal consequences. The best way to lessen the chances of your business failing is to avoid these crucial errors. In addition, an experienced business attorney can help you with the legal aspect of owning your own company.

Business Mistakes You Should Avoid

As the old adage goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” If you are interested in starting your own business or buying an existing business, educating yourself about the legal steps involved in business ownership is crucial. Some of the most common mistakes new business owners make are also some of the most consequential.

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Fairfield County business law attorney employee handbook

If you are a small business owner, you probably have a close relationship with your employees. You may believe that your employees know what is required of them and will continue to meet your expectations – even if those expectations have only been implied. Unfortunately, this type of thinking has gotten some business owners into hot water. Although you are likely overwhelmed with concerns that appear to be more immediate, the importance of creating a comprehensive employee handbook cannot be overstated. By putting your expectations, procedures, and policies in writing, you reduce your vulnerability to legal actions and increase your team’s productivity.

Protecting Your Business Against Lawsuits

As your business grows, you will likely hire more and more employees. It is certainly possible that some of these employees will not end up being a good fit for your business. This is one important reason why you need clear policies regarding employee expectations, disciplinary actions, and termination. If you do not have a consistent method for evaluating employees and recording any problems, you could be accused of discrimination in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Furthermore, creating these policies helps employees understand exactly what is expected of them. The key is to make sure you create policies that are realistic and achievable. Consistently abide by the policies you have put in place and do not forget to record any disciplinary actions you are taking.

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Fairfield County business law attorney breach of contract

Business contracts are an integral part of a successful entrepreneurial career. Whether it is a purchase order, bill of sale, employment contract, lease agreement, or another type of contract, knowing how and when to use contracts is a vital skill. When a party subject to a contract violates any of the contract’s terms and conditions, the violating party may face a breach of contract claim. The party wronged by the violation may be entitled to damages. As a small business owner, writing clear and effective contracts with help from an experienced business lawyer is one of the best ways to avoid facing liability for breach of contract.  

Failure to Fulfill the Requirements of a Contract

There are several different types of contract breaches. A minor breach of contract is one that involves non-fulfillment of a minor detail in the contract. These breaches do not impact the overall purpose of the contract and are typically able to be resolved outside of court. An anticipatory breach or anticipatory repudiation occurs when the breaching party notifies the non-breaching party that it will not be satisfying the terms of the contract. A material breach of contract is one that is so significant that it prevents the parties from being able to execute the responsibilities contained in the contract. Anticipatory breaches and material breaches often lead to legal actions.

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Norwalk business law attorney succession

If you own a family business, you may not have ever given much thought to succession planning. You may intend to pass the business down to your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, or another relative, so you assumed that succession planning was not necessary. While handing down a business to a loved one may seem like a straightforward process, there are countless issues that can arise that will hinder your company’s growth and continued success. The best way to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible is to create a detailed succession plan well in advance of your successor taking over.

It Is Never Too Soon to Start

You may not be planning to retire or transfer ownership of your business for several years or more. However, it is never too soon to start building your succession plan. As your business evolves and grows, your succession plan can be modified accordingly. Keeping the eventual transition in mind helps ensure that you are currently making choices that will allow the business to flourish under new owners in the future. Including your family in the business succession planning process can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevent disputes in the future.  

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Darien business law attorney

If you are currently a Connecticut business owner or soon will be, you probably already know that business contracts are an integral part of a successful business. Whether you are creating a partnership agreement, non-compete agreement, financing agreement, bill of sale, employment contract, or another type of business contract, you need to ensure that the contract is effective and enforceable. Seemingly minor mistakes can lead to major misunderstandings and contract disputes. This is one reason that it is always a good idea to have business contracts reviewed by a qualified business law attorney.

Assuming That a Verbal Contract Will Suffice

In an ideal world, we would not need business contracts. A person could simply be trusted to keep his or her promise. Unfortunately, this is not how the business world works. Informal agreements and casual contracts are ineffective and extremely difficult to enforce. You have probably poured a great deal of time and energy into your business. You need to know for certain that your business is protected if a partner, vendor, or contractor fails to keep their end of the bargain. Well-written, clear, enforceable contracts are the only way to protect your business in the event that a party breaches the terms of a business agreement.

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Fairfield County business law attorney commercial financing

Whether you are launching a new business or you are interested in expanding your current business, financing your business goals is probably one of your top concerns. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have several different options when it comes to securing funding for a new business venture. Some of these individuals use their own savings, borrow from their home’s equity, withdraw retirement funds, or even use a credit card to finance the business. However, many people find these options to be too risky and instead choose to take out a loan. Conventional bank loans and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are two popular options to consider when financing your small business.

Conventional Bank Loans

Conventional loans are the most popular type of lending for small businesses. When a borrower obtains a conventional loan, the bank lends him or her a set amount of money at a fixed or floating interest rate. Payment schedules are negotiable and may involve monthly payments, quarterly payments, or annual payments. The parameters of the loan are based on the bank’s particular policies and the business’s overall credit risk. Typically, the higher a business’s perceived risk, the higher the interest rate. Conventional loans are highly dependent on personal and business credit scores. Young business owners with less credit history may not qualify for a traditional loan.

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Norwalk commercial and business law attorney

Did you know that the average U.S. small business owner is 60 years old? If you are like many business owners, you are nearing retirement age and starting to think about your future. You may be thinking about selling your business sooner rather than later because you have concerns about the effects of COVID-19 or because you simply do not want to continue investing so much time and energy into the business. Whatever your reason, choosing to sell your business and retire is a major decision. It is important to define clear objectives, properly prepare for the sale, and take steps to avoid mistakes that could delay your retirement.   

Preparing Your Business for Sale

As the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Although you may be eager to sell your business so that you can pursue your retirement dreams, it is important not to rush this important transition. One of the most essential steps you will need to take is to secure an accurate business valuation. Properly valuing your business may be complicated – especially if the business’s revenue is down because of COVID lockdowns. A qualified business valuation professional will help you determine how to put an appropriate price on the business. You have probably poured a tremendous amount of your time and energy into growing your business. You deserve to get the best price possible.

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Greenwich commercial and business law attorney

One of the most important decisions you will ever make as a new business owner is choosing a business entity or business structure. Although making this decision may not be as enjoyable as choosing a business name or making decisions about products and services, it is an absolutely crucial aspect of starting a new business. Many new business owners find themselves in deep legal and financial trouble after choosing a business structure that does not fit their ambitions and needs. This is why it is essential to make an educated decision when choosing how to structure your business.  

Types of Business Structures

The type of business structure you choose will have a major impact on how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes your business revenue. Your business structure will also determine your level of personal liability for business losses. The most common types of business structures include:

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Greenwich commercial and business law attorney

Effectively using business contracts is an essential part of growing a successful small business. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also called a confidential disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement is a contract that prohibits the participating parties from sharing sensitive information. Business owners may use NDAs when disclosing confidential information to employees and consultants, during business sales or purchases, and when meeting with potential investors. However, a non-disclosure agreement is only beneficial when it is executed accurately and does not contain major mistakes. This is why it is best to work with an experienced business lawyer when drafting non-disclosure agreements and other types of business contracts.  

The Basics of Non-Disclosure Agreements

In an ideal world, a business owner would be able to simply ask an individual not to share the sensitive business information to which he or she is privy. Unfortunately, this is not how business dealings work in the real world. The best way to prevent confidential information from being used against a business is to have the party receiving the information to sign a legally binding confidentiality agreement. A business owner may use an NDA to protect:

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Stamford business law attorney intellectual property

If you are a Connecticut business owner or soon will be, you may have countless tasks and obligations on your mind. You may be developing a business plan, working on marketing strategies, researching your competition, meeting with investors, drafting contracts, and more. However, one issue you may not have yet considered is how you will protect your intellectual property. You have probably spent a great deal of time and energy developing your business ideas, marketing slogans, website design, logos, and other business material. Protecting these types of intellectual property is a crucial step in forming a successful business.

Understanding Trademarks

The three main legal tools for legally protecting intellectual property are trademarks, patents, and copyrights. A trademark provides protection against other parties’ use of certain symbols, words, phrases, or designs that identify your products or services. You may want to trademark your company’s name, the brand names of products and services, the business’s logo, marketing slogans, and other brand-specific intellectual property. Because you will likely need to register each of your trademarks separately, securing trademark protection can sometimes be a challenging task. An experienced business attorney can help you understand what types of material you should trademark and how to accomplish this important legal process.

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Greenwich commercial and business law attorney

If you are considering forming a startup business, you may be eager to make your dreams a reality and excited about what the future holds. Understandably, you may also be a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of issues you must address. Starting a business is likely to be one of the most challenging professional and personal endeavors you will embark on. However, it also has the potential to be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever undertake. One important consideration when starting a business is where your startup will be located. There are several important factors you should be aware of when selecting a location for your business.

Choosing the Best Location for Your Business

The location you choose for your business has the potential to make a major impact on the success of your company. Whether you are interested in an office, warehouse, retail space, or another location type, there are several factors you should consider:

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