Top Work At Home Moms
    How to make money from home.

Registering, Licensing and Permitting – As already noted, businesses in nearly every locale are required to meet certain requirements in terms of registering as a business, getting the proper licenses and securing the necessary permits. An attorney can help you understand these issues and point you in the right direction.

Naming the Business – If you plan to operate your business under a fictitious name, an attorney can prove invaluable. In the old days, businesses with the same names could operate in different states and no one would know it. However, with the Internet, you can quickly run afoul of another business if you happen to use their trade name. You can avoid these pitfalls by using an attorney that is familiar with patent and trademark law. Before you name your business, you can run the name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. They have an online search function on their website ( Don’t be discouraged if you find your desired name already in use. Duplicate names can be used, as long as they are for different industries. For example, if you are planning to sell party supplies and a company has your name but it is a dry cleaning business, you can be pretty confident that you won’t have any problems.

An attorney can help you trademark your name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. This has distinct advantages as it allows you to do business in all 50 states without having to worry about some obscure mom and pop business in Iowa raising a fuss about using their name. A federal mark trumps all state trademark registrations. The cost is reasonable too. If you do your own research on the name the actual registration will run you approximately $500. Half the cost is the registration fee and the other is the attorney’s fee to handle the application. A mark is good for 10 years. If you have a unique name for your business the cost is worth it.

A case in point. We know of one business that had been operating for three years on the Internet. One day they received an email from an attorney in Colorado requesting that they stop using the name immediately. Another corporation in that state had had that name for 19 years. It was even properly registered with the state of Colorado. A quick search of TESS (the patent office’s search engine) showed there was no federal registration on the name on file. So the company filed for a federal registration and then requested the Colorado company to stop using their name instead and they had no choice but to relinquish their state rights. That is the power of a properly registered mark.

Contracts – If your business offers services, contracts can become a normal part of your life. An attorney can help you set up a blanket contract that you can modify for each project or client. Most of the verbiage is pretty standard, providing you and the client with certain protections, including how changes in the terms will be agreed upon, how the relationship can be terminated, and how litigation would be conducted.