BUSINESSTOWN Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents & Other Legal Issues You Should Know

Common Legal Mistakes Startups Make

Are Home Businesses Legal?

Can You Run a Business From Your Home? In many cases, operating a business from your home is not legal. Laws in most cities and towns in the U.S. and most developed countries severely limit the locations and under what conditions businesses may operate. But if every illegal home business in America were shut down,... READ MORE

Keeping Your Hiring Practices Legal

If you think common sense is a good enough rule of thumb for keeping hiring legal, then think again! Some of the legal issues are probably not as straightforward as you may think. This is another reason why all hiring managers need to have a basic understanding of the legalities of hiring. This applies not... READ MORE

Copyright Basics for Small Business

Items protected by copyright law include books, magazines, software, advertising copy, newspapers, music, movies, audio recordings, and artwork. The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a summary definition of copyright as follows: Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain... READ MORE

What Kind of Legal Form Does My Business Need?

The various options for legal structures for your business vary from country to country and can vary within a country; for example, in the U.S. there can be slight differences from one state to the next. Liability Is Your First Big Issue The first core question to think about is liability. If the business cannot... READ MORE

How Do Patents Work?

Many people think of patents in connection with inventions. But patents are granted for a wide range of creations. You can be granted a design patent that will protect the “look” of a product or even a plant patent to protect a particular hybrid plant. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Summary Definition of... READ MORE

Trademarks and Servicemarks Explained

Unlike copyrights and patents, trademarks affect all businesses. When you use the name of your business publicly, you are using it as a trademark. When you sell products using a brand name, you are using that brand name as a trademark. The brand name of any service you provide is a service mark or, essentially,... READ MORE