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Legal Myths That Can Cost You A Fortune

October 23, 2012

Myths about the law abound. They range from age-old lore, like “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” to mistakes about intellectual property rights. When you fall into the trap of letting these fables guide your decisions, you can get your business into trouble. So let’s dispel some of these legal myths.

Myth 1: Hey, I own that intellectual property. Misunderstandings about intellectual property ownership are rampant. Many businesspeople think if they register a new business with their home state, they automatically obtain trademark registration of their business’ name. No such luck. The trademark registration process is a completely independent process, and you don’t get any trademark registration rights just from setting up a new company.

Similarly, when businesses hire independent contractors to work on new ideas and inventions, companies often assume that they own the intellectual property created by the contractor. Wrong again. Unless you have a special agreement in place assigning the IP rights to your business, that contractor remains the owner of any copyright or patent associated with his or her work. (more…)

Hedging Against Business Debt

October 23, 2012

There is one problem that threatens all businesses: debt. In 2010, businesses nationwide placed $150 billion worth of debt with collection agencies. To keep financially fit and withstand economic storms, a proactive approach to business debt management can hedge against accumulation of high debt that can often hamper growth and potentially lead to bankruptcy.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowing your company’s commercial credit score is an easy way to keep your business financially healthy. Get your credit score at least twice a year to stay on top of credit reporting and spending habits. Among small businesses, credit cards are the second most commonly used financial product, only second to checking accounts, according to a “Report to the Congress on the Use of Credit Cards by Small Businesses and the Credit Card Market for Small Businesses in May 2010.” With businesses today so reliant on credit cards, maintaining a high credit score can help your business better qualify for new credit. (more…)