by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 20, 2017

The Importance of Recurring Income Streams

“You see this here doughnut? What you got is the hole.” I’ll never forget that sinking feeling when I heard that from a business expert I consulted. I couldn’t believe it.  I was stunned.  Humiliated.  12 years of building my law firm—all that blood, sweat, and treasure—and I have nothing to show for it … […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 17, 2017

How to properly use a fictitious business name? [Q&A]

Q.:  Can you use “LLC” with your DBA names? A.: No. Here’s the fuller story. You form an LLC for your social media consulting company:  Best Brains LLC.  Six months later, you start to offer blog copywriting services as a specific line of business, which you call Best Blogs.  That sparks an educational/coaching teleclass (or webinar–take […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 14, 2017

Should You Ever Deviate from your Customer Service Systems?

On a recent trip to Santa Monica, my husband and I stopped into 24 Hour Fitness Express. Armed with a free three-day pass and dressed to sweat, I was ready to climb the Stairmaster and pretend to work off the previous night’s dark chocolate lava cake dessert. Only there was a problem—I hadn’t carefully read […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 11, 2017

When 50/50 Equality Turns into Stalemate

I heard a sad story this week — a Tale of Two Business Partners.  One made clothing designs; the other supplied the money.  One was optimistic about the new awards she had won and where the business was going; the other wasn’t.  One wanted to continue to move forward; the other wanted to wait and […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 8, 2017

The Importance of Similar Goals

It surprises me how many business owners have knee-jerk reactions about choosing a business partner, instead of thinking long and hard about who would really be the right fit for them (then again, how many of us really do that in our personal lives . . . but that issue is beyond the scope of […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 5, 2017

Is a Strategic Alliance Right for You?

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Don’t partner up with anyone until you ask yourself these 10 questions. Strategic alliances: They’re great when used effectively to expand the range of your product or service offerings; they’re not so great when you collect them like Manolo Blahnik shoes, merely because, well, everyone else has them. “Strategic alliance” is a chic but vague […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on November 2, 2017

Small Business Woes: Copyright Infringement and Trademark Infringement

There are few things more frustrating than putting your hard-earned intellectual capital into your small business, only to find you’ve been a victim of copyright infringement or trademark infringement. For businesses with lots of online content, copyright infringement can pose vexing questions: How often do you file with the U.S. Copyright Office? What are the procedures for […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on October 30, 2017

Evaluating a Franchise’s Fine Print

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Be sure the business you’re buying is a strong, profitable brand with an untroubled history. Picture this: It’s Day One of your business. You have a business plan. Your operations manual is in place. You know your suppliers. Your branding has already been done and the business model has been tested, so you know it’s […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on October 27, 2017

Avoiding a Shoot-Out with Your Freelancer ‘Gun for Hire’

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I was asked recently in my Forbes.com Ask An Expert column whether you could copyright something you didn’t write.  The short answer is “no,” unless you’ve carved out a “work for hire” exception.  This is particularly relevant for entrepreneurs who outsource to freelancers for their projects. When you hire a freelancer to do work for […]

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by Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. on October 24, 2017

Watch Your Language! – 4 of the Most Misconstrued Legal Terms

As the age of “Greed is good” has morphed into an “era of relationships,” so has the language we use. Terms and phrases evoking collaboration, cooperation, and working for mutual gain abound. You see it in the marketing pieces and hear it in the vernacular of small business owners. From a business point of view, […]

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