What’s In a Name?

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Finding just the right name for your business, product or service isn’t an easy task. First, you need to find a name that isn’t already being used, or one that could be considered confusingly similar to one already in use, so as to avoid trademark disputes. You also need to find one that speaks to consumers and entices them to purchase your product or service or come to your place of business.

In today’s Star Tribune business section, there is an ...

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Recommended Reading: Social Media and Employment

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The legal issues surrounding social media use, employer and employees continues to grow as the use of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for professional reasons increases. This is a link to a CNN article that discusses some of the most recent cases that have arise and that demonstrate the uncertainty in this new area of ...

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What to do when if you are a franchisee and the franchisor goes bankrupt

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Interesting story in the New York Time Small Business section the other day. It dealt with a nightmare scenario of anyone who purchases a franchise: the franchisor goes bankrupt. The article talks about the story of William Burris, who was faced with that situation only five months after he spent more than $100,000 a purchased a Australian franchise that rented moving boxes.

The story provides inspiration and idea for how to face a situation that may seem dire, but with ...

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Name Confusion Leads to David v. Goliath Fight

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I read an interesting article a couple of weeks ago in the New York Time. It is about a new company called Willa (named after the founder’s daughter) that is being sued by Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Wella hair-care products. Willa makes skin-care products aimed at tweens, and P&G claims that the names are confusingly similar and has demanded that Willa stop. Willa claims that this is another case of trademark bullying, a big company using its ...

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Law Firms With Monthly Retainer Packages

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At Attenza Law, we offer Business Per Te, fixed-fee monthly membership packages for growing businesses. You pay a certain amount per month (from $199 to $1,269) and receive lots of benefits, such as:

  • Access to one of our Minnesota business and employment attorneys, ranging from 2 hours per month to unlimited
  • Discounts on other legal services that range from 5% to 15%
  • Review and drafting of agreements

Here is a link with more details.

However, we aren’t the only ones who offer these ...

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Workplace Bullying: Can You Be Held Liable?

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What Is Your Liability for Workplace Bullying

We have all heard a lot about bullying lately, especially in the context of school bullying. Although we might not hear about it as often, workplace bullying is also a problem. In 2010, the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35% of all American workers have experienced first-hand bullying in the workplace, while 15% have witnessed it.

I wrote this post about tip sharing, stressing that Minnesota ...

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Employees Must be Paid for Work Done…No Matter What!

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I was talking with a friend recently. He is an employee in a local small business.  At the beginning of this month, his employer told him that he wouldn’t be able to pay him for the first two weeks of the year (even though he had worked) because the company just didn’t have the money to pay his wages. So my friend’s question was whether this was legal. No, it isn’t!

Employees have a right to be paid for the work ...

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Job Descriptions: Why You Should Care

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One of the most important policies a business can have in place is a clearly defined job description for each position.  This is a good way communicate the employer’s expectations of the employee, and can serve as an important reference point in the employee’s relationship with the business.  While not legally required under Minnesota law, job descriptions serve important legal purposes.

Americans ...

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Why You Should Maintain Corporate Records

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About 35% of all businesses are established as corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs). The principal advantage that a corporate entity such as an LLC provides is personal liability. In other words, the corporate entity acts as a shield, protecting the owners’ personal assets from any obligations of the business; the owners cannot be held personally liable for any judgment against the business. Of course there are exceptions to this rule.

The exception is known as piercing the corporate ...

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How On-Going Employee Education Can Help Reduce Your Liability

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Education is important. Now that September is upon us, we are reminded of this when we see the yellow school buses around our neighborhoods each morning and afternoon. Education is important for your employees as well. It can help reduce your liability as a business owner for the actions or inactions of your employees. This posting will look at some of the important training that employers should provide.

Harassment and Discrimination: Perhaps this ...

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