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4 tips for keeping on track with your small business

When you're starting a business, one of the things you may worry about is failing. It's important that you know that failure is part of the process, but it's also possible to avoid serious issues by taking some steps to avoid them.

As an entrepreneur, you need to know common mistakes that people make and how to avoid them. Here are four things that you can avoid, so that your business can thrive.

Is starting an LLC the right move for your new business?

Starting a new business is potentially a great way for you to increase your income and take an idea you have and turn it into something profitable. Unfortunately, new businesses come with a lot of risk as well as the potential for profit.

You and the people who depend on you financially could wind up in a vulnerable position if you don't take the right steps when planning your business initially. The right form for your company is an important step that far too many people overlook. Many people go with the simplest option, which isn't always the best one.

Business formation types that limit personal liability

As someone looking to establish your own business, you would be wise to figure out where your liabilities are so that you can determine how to best protect yourself and your personal assets. Some entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that they face few risks with regard to liability because of the nature of their businesses, but in truth, virtually every type of business has at least some areas where someone could attempt to hold them liable.

If limiting personal liability is one of your priorities when establishing your business, you may want to consider creating one of two types of business structures: either the limited liability company or the S corporation.

The basics of intellectual property

The concept of intellectual property has risen to prominence in recent years, in part due to advances in technology. Georgia State heavily values the intellectual property community, as evidenced by its recent announcement of a collaboration between Georgia State University College of Law and the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance.

Despite its prevalence, many people still do not understand the full ramifications of this type of law. This field supports numerous industries, and it is critical for any entrepreneur or innovator to know the basics of intellectual property. 

What to include in a buy-sell agreement

The best defense against business disputes is having strong legal documents in place. One of these you need for your business is a buy-sell agreement, which outlines what happens to an owner's share in the event that something happens to the owner, whether that is leaving the company or leaving earth.

Before you draft the contract, it is important to know some of the terms to include in it to ensure it is thorough. Make sure you have the following provisions for a solid agreement.

What does "fair use" mean?

Whether you are actively involved in the intellectual property business or your closest association with a copyright involves creating a logo and slogan for your company, you have most likely been involved with copyright law to some degree.

Therefore, you understand that the rights to intellectual property belong to the creator or company the work originated from. Fair use law also involves copyrighted material, but this area can be confusing for Georgia business owners.

    Errors that new businesses make when trying to save money

    One of the priorities for many new businesses is finding ways to run lean. After all, capital is probably low, and income and profits have yet to come in.

    However, a focus on saving money can lead to mistakes that prove costly. Look at the following errors and see if you have managed to avoid them. If not, now is a good time to adjust course. 

    Which type of business entity should an entrepreneur choose?

    As a Georgia entrepreneur, you constantly see business opportunities that others fail to see. Consequently, you come up with great new business ideas that no one else would think of.

    But while entrepreneurship is a marvelous character trait, you also need to have good business savvy.

    What small business owners should know about verbal contracts

    As a small business owner, you may understand the importance of a clear, concise and fair contract. In fact, you use contracts for nearly every business transaction, from hiring new employees to making sales and purchases. However, like most Georgia residents, you are also a friendly person and you prefer to keep your transactions as hassle-free as possible. You might have working arrangements with some of your associates without relying on a written contract.

    So far, this has served you well. However, what happens if there is a business disagreement? Can you uphold the terms of a verbal contract in court? For example, you may have agreed over the phone to make an equipment trade with an associate you have done business with in the past. However, after the trade, you found out the equipment was defective, but the associate denies anything was wrong with it. You might want to take him to court but worry that you have no proof of an agreement between the two of you. Unfortunately, you might be correct. It would be difficult for a judge to uphold the terms of your verbal contract when it is your word against your associate’s.

    What mistakes businesses make when crowdfunding

    Perhaps you own a new pizza parlor, nightclub, tech company or something else entirely. You have done your homework, for example, selecting the right business entity and negotiating contracts to your advantage. Like many businesses, though, you still need capital, and crowdfunding seems promising.

    The good news: It can be a smart move. The bad news: Many businesses make mistakes when crowdfunding, and these errors cost time, money and other valuable resources. Here is a look at a few of these common blunders.

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