Ask SmallBizClub

I am an attorney and have a security concern about using the office suite’s copying machines. Do copy machines retain any sort of history of the images they copy?

Digital copiers manufactured since 2002 typically have a hard drive or drives that store data about the documents copied, printed, scanned, faxed or emailed on or through the machine. If you don’t take steps to protect that data, it can be stolen from the hard drive, either by remote access or by extracting the data once the drive has been removed.

My partners and I are opening up a retail location, should we keep the existing name of our online store?

Business owners have flexibility in naming their businesses subject to any registered or common law trademark restrictions and any state business entity or state/local trade name registration restrictions.

Where can we get started if we wanted to buy or create an Employee Handbook?

From a general business perspective, the number of employees, type and number of employee fringe benefit programs, and other factors influence the need for an employee manual.

When is the best time to sell a business?

You are correct that there are several important considerations when deciding to sell a business – personal retirement plans, personal income requirements, alternative investment opportunities, sales/profit trends, potential competition, real estate value trends, etc.

I’m establishing an LLC in just my name, would it be a good strategy to put all our personal bank accounts and investments in my wife’s name?

Personal trusts and other measures can be used to provide additional layers of personal asset protection; however, measures to hide assets from creditors and other parties, for example, can be ineffective due to the courts’ right to reverse transactions under certain circumstances.

Is there such a thing as a paperless office?

While the prospect of a paperless office may be an efficiency goal, it is often difficult to achieve in practice due to legal, tax, cost, and other business implications. Also, a bookkeeper’s job, by its very nature involves considerable paperwork and the processing of that paperwork – customer invoices, vendor/supplier bills, payroll and vendor checks, financial reports, etc.

Is an Tax Lien Certificate too good to be true, or one of the best kept secrets in America?

Since it is very rare that a property owner gives up a property with significant equity to a tax lien holder, tax lien investing should be looked at as a modest return, lower risk investment, and not a path to quick riches.

If I start taking debit cards, are there ways to use my phone and do it on the spot?

Mobile debit/credit card processing is available. In addition to the merchant account information below, you can review articles on mobile credit card processing solutions and considerations at the following websites…

Me and my son have a business in California and want to dissolve our partnership, what steps do we need to take?

Whether you or your son will continue operating the business or the business is also being discontinued is one important consideration; however, partners have several important considerations regarding dissolution, including a predetermined formula…

I am a 75% shareholder of my corporation, what operating agreement do I use?

Typically, any buyout contingency plans for partnerships or corporations are outlined in a buy/sell agreement. For consideration and drafting with your lawyer, you can locate sample buy/sell agreements (some free and some for a fee) that you can copy…

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