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Unformatted text preview: ame and you can prove that you had
it ﬁrst, so they are trading on your name. There are lots of McDonald’s restaurants around, and
McDonald’s can’t stop them from using that name if they had it early enough, and especially if they
aren’t pretending to be a fast-foods hamburger joint. The intent and the attempt to confuse is very
important. Choosing a Business Name
The choice of a business name is very important, worth taking time to develop. Don’t end up with a
name that you can’t live with. Look for something that describes your business, is easy to explain, ﬁts
on the signs, and works. Find an Attorney
I’m not an attorney, and I don’t give legal advice. I do strongly recommend working with an attorney
to go through the details of your company’s legal establishment, licenses, and other items covered
here. By including this information in this book, I don’t mean to imply you should do it yourself.
The trade-offs involved in incorporation vs. partnership vs. other forms of business are signiﬁcant.
Small problems developed at the early stages of a new business can become horrendous problems
later on. What’s true in one state isn’t true in the next one. The cost of simple legal advice in this
regard is almost always worth it. Starting a company should not involve a major legal bill except in
special cases. Don’t skimp on legal costs. Licenses and Permits are Usually Local Issues
It’s hard to generalize on licenses and permits, because some of these depend on where you are and
some depend on what you do. When in doubt, you should check with local sources. If you don’t want
to go straight to the local government and ask your questions directly, then ask at your local Chamber
of Commerce, www.chamberofcommerce.com, or Small Business Development Center (SBDC),
For example, many cities have zoning laws that deﬁne where you can put retail stores, ofﬁce space,
and industries. Few of these affect the small home-based business...
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- Winter '09