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pro tip Archives

March 24, 2016

It's usually better to ask for permission rather than forgiveness

The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected a petition for certiorari in a slightly-under-the-radar case, Towle v. D.C. Comics. The case involves unauthorized copies of the Batmobile that Mr. Towle built and sold. In this instance, Mr. Towle was building replicas of the Batmobile, but he had not asked for permission...

February 18, 2016

Pro Tip: Call Me Before You Begin

Consulting an attorney before you begin a new project is critical. Attorneys can help you think through future what-ifs and identify for you hidden issues you should resolve at each stage of your project. If you called me seeking legal advice before starting work on a new creative endeavor, I...

February 4, 2016

Pro Tip: Don't be afraid a lawyer will tell you "no"

I regularly hear from many clients about their process of deciding to hire an attorney for their small business. The most frequently-stated reason clients hesitate engaging legal counsel is their fear that the attorney will tell them they can't legally do something that forms the core of their business. All...

February 1, 2016

Pro Tip: Stay away from "Mad-Libs Style" legal service providers

Without naming names, I understand the appeal of Mad-Libs Style legal service providers that sell pre-drafted, one-size-fits-all legal solutions that you customize with the particular details of your business or transaction.  These at-your-fingertips resources are tempting, in part because you can get things accomplished on your own schedule and at...

January 21, 2016

Pro Tip: Budgeting for legal services

Have you heard the old adage, "You've got to spend money to make money"?  Starting a new business is a costly endeavor.  Many of those costs are incurred upfront, even before you start generating revenue. One line item you should certainly budget for at the outset is legal services. In...

January 11, 2016

Pro Tip: City of Los Angeles Business Tax

It's a new year, and that means tax season is soon upon us. One thing new business owners in Los Angeles should keep in mind is that you must pay the City of Los Angeles business tax (which is based on a percentage of your annual revenue) or apply for...

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