Business & Commercial Law Info Center

Business law and commercial law are broad legal topics that encompass business, commerce, consumer transactions, and the formation and management of business entities. Some of the more important areas of commercial law include sales, secured transactions, negotiable instruments, and debtor and creditor law. Business law overlaps, but also includes the formation and management of business entities. An attorney with experience in business and commercial law can help you with all of your questions.

Starting a Business

Starting a business can be a daunting and complicated process. There are numerous factors that a potential business owner must consider. Some of these concerns may be financing the business, setting up a business plan, choosing the correct business organization, naming the business, dealing with licensing, permits, and zoning concerns, hiring and compensating employees, and attaining insurance for your new business. The law surrounding these areas is diverse and often specific to your locale. An attorney with experience in this area is the best resource for a new business owner.

A potential new business owner must always be aware of the costs involved in starting a new business. There are start-up costs and one-time expenses that must be considered. In order to gain financing the business owner will want to contact a financial institution or other investors.

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Choosing a Business Structure

The four most common business structures are the sole proprietorship, partnership (general or limited), corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). Determining which structure would best suit your business can depend on several different factors. Keep in mind that your business structure can be changed at a later time, as your business needs change.

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Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is the area of law that deals with the reproduction of creative works. Creative works are considered to be the intellectual property of its owner, and may be transferred, regulated and protected like other forms of property. There are four primary ways to protect intellectual property: 1) a trademark of a word, symbol, name, or other designation of a product; 2) a patent of a novel and useful invention or discovery; 3) a copyright of an original work of authorship, such as a book, computer program, graphic artwork or motion picture; and 4) a trade secret of confidential business information, including a computer programming code or other business formula. The use of trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets protects one’s creative product, or intellectual property, from the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or use by one other than the property owner.

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Contracts and the Law

A business contract is one of the most common legal transactions you will be involved in when running a business. No matter what type of business you run, having an understanding of contract law is a key to creating sound business agreements that will be legally enforceable in the event that a dispute arises. Following is a discussion of the law of contracts.

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