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Trademark infringement may warrant litigation

As you have operated your South Carolina business over the years, times may have come up when you needed to protect your intellectual property. Because you understand the importance of intellectual property, you wanted to ensure that other businesses could not lawfully use your company's IP for their own successes. As a result, you may have trademarked certain information.

Commonly, trademarks apply to logos, slogans, business names, certain designs and other similar variations of ideas. Of course, even if you have taken the time and made the effort to trademark certain aspects of your company's brand, it does not necessarily mean that all companies will avoid using it. However, if a company does utilize your trademarked information, you may have reason to move forward with trademark litigation.

How does forced arbitration work?

Though many businesses are phasing them out, arbitration clauses are still a feature in some contracts. They require both parties to seek resolutions to any contract disagreements by using alternative dispute resolution methods rather than litigating the matter in court. The decision reached in arbitration is legally binding, and there is typically no alternative for an appeal. If you encounter an arbitration clause in a potential contract, it's important to have clarity about how they work.

The discovery phase of your business lawsuit

Facing legal action against your South Carolina business is likely something you hoped would never happen. Nevertheless, despite your efforts to be proactive, you have learned that a customer, vendor or another business has named you in a lawsuit, and now you must respond.

A lawsuit can easily drain time, money and resources from your business, so you want to be certain to deal with it in the most efficient and cost-effective way. If you have an attorney who has assisted you through the establishment and growth of your business, you can likely count on that professional to guide you through this difficult time, including the critical discovery phase of the lawsuit.

What should you include in your LLC's operating agreement?

As is the case with many small businesses here in South Carolina, you chose to form a limited liability company when you started your new business. Now that you can legally operate, you may have thought that the paperwork part of starting up your business was over.

However, you need to draft an operating agreement. This document outlines the agreements among you and the other members of your company. It covers a wide array of issues that could arise among the members, along with matters such as who handles the day-to-day operations, who handles the money and more.

Why every business should get an annual checkup

No business is stagnant. Just as the market is continually evolving, so, too, is your business. And so is the legal landscape that affects your enterprise.

Most businesses undergo a thorough legal vetting at certain milestones: during formation, while considering a major acquisition, or when restructuring or selling, for example. But every business can benefit from more frequent and regular legal reviews.

Are you ready to grow your business?

Starting your own business is likely not something you came up with overnight. Like many South Carolina entrepreneurs, you probably planned, saved and sacrificed to make your dream come true. When you opened your doors or went live with your website, it was just the beginning.

Now that you are seeing what is possible with your business ideas, you may be considering the options for expanding. Additionally, you may realize the best way to ensure the survival of your venture is to make it even more profitable, and that means finding ways to keep it growing. While you may be unsure of where to start, the suggestions from some business experts may be surprisingly simple to put into practice.

Is your business the victim of unfair competition?

One very important purpose of intellectual property laws is to encourage creativity, which is good for society. If you know the work you put into bringing an idea to life will enjoy the protection of the law so that you can fully benefit from your efforts, you will be more likely to continue coming up with great ideas for products, services and other innovations that will enhance the lives of those in South Carolina and across the country.

Competition is a driving force in business. Vigorous competition between your business and others in your industry can keep you on your toes looking for new ways to edge out your competitors. This kind of competition is good for your business and can be a great motivator for creativity in all areas. However, when another business uses deceptive or unfair methods to gain the upper hand in the competition, you have every right to seek remedies for the damage your business may suffer.

Two key connections most successful business owners make

Launching a business is definitely not for the fainthearted. Business owners in South Carolina and beyond can attest to the fact that challenges of all kinds may accompany the start-up process. Whether you make it from phase one to the final stage when you officially open to the public often depends on how swiftly and effectively you can overcome the obstacles that arise along the way.  

Most successful business owners make two alliances early on that are often key factors toward financial stability and smooth transactions with partners, employees, customers and others. The more you know about support resources, the better, because there will be no need to go it alone if a financial or legal problem surfaces down the line.  

Clear contract terms may help prevent payment problems

New technology start-up companies in South Carolina face a variety of unique challenges when just starting out. The good news is your dream is well on its way of coming to fruition, and if you are attracting clients, you've already come a long way since the days when your business was merely a thought inside your mind. As an entrepreneur, you understand that clear vision and communication are often keys to success. 

Both are definitely important when it comes to signing service agreements with your clients. How you word the content of such agreements may impact your success (or lack, thereof) of collecting on-time payments from your clients. If you understand the importance of contract terminology and also have support networks in place in case payment problems arise, you'll likely be able to overcome obstacles and build a strong and lasting presence in the internet commerce industry. 

3 mistakes that could hinder your business formation and growth

While there are numerous business giants in the world, you know that your idea and your company could help the business community and consumers. Though you may have debated for years before getting started on building your company, you may feel comfortable in knowing this path suits your life, desires and needs. Of course, you may also remain acutely aware of the fact that many businesses do not thrive as hoped.

While you may keep this statistic in the back of your mind, you may do well to avoid letting it drive your decisions. Mistakes can easily happen in the beginning and throughout your business journey, and working to avoid these mistakes may help you along the way. However, you may not realize that certain actions may prove more hindering than helpful, especially when first forming your business.

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