Clear Trademark Rights Before Naming Things

You cannot use a brand in commerce if your use would be confusingly similar to someone else’s brand. So, do not name your company or your product or service without clearing trademark rights first. Once you choose your name, scour the internet using the search engine of your choice to ensure no one else is…

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Deploy a captivating hook

When courting potential investors with an executive summary, or even just an email, see if you can deploy a seriously captivating hook right off the bat. I know this is easier said than done. But remember, your executive summary is nothing more than a 30-second blipvert to get the reader interested in taking a meeting…

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Embaggen the cat, or let it out? (to NDA or not to NDA)

When first conceiving of a new startup idea, lots of entrepreneurs experience a measure of paranoia about it and start demanding that everyone with whom they discuss it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). My opinion is: Don’t use an NDA until you must in order to protect highly sensitive, non-public information. NDA’s protect actual secrets,…

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The Company You Keep

With few exceptions, all business should be conducted from within a company that is properly formed and organized as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), a limited partnership (LP) or the like. Why? Four basic reasons: a. Asset Protection. Deservedly or not, almost all businesses get sued. Forming a company around the business can…

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