Protect your business ft Mark Goodman
In this podcast, Mark Goodman discusses a variety of business law topics including protecting intellectual property, reducing overhead costs, and increasing efficiency.
In the topic of how to protect a business, it is important to choose the correct structure of the company to reduce taxes and liability. A business may want to be structured as a limited liability company (LLC) or a S corporation. These company structures can protect business owners from personal liability. For example, if a customer gets injured at the business the business owner could be held personally liable if the business is a sole proprietorship. If the business is an LLC, the business itself would be liable but the owner would not have personal liability.
Businesses often need to protect their company name, logos, and product brands. If the company develops new products, the company may be able to obtain patents. Registration of trademarks and copyrights provide greater protection in case of litigation. Most significantly, a plaintiff can recover additional damages and attorney’s fees from the infringer if the trademark or copyright is federally registered. Further, it is much easier to prove “first use” of a trademark if you have a federal registration with specific dates of use in commerce. If you rely on a common law trademark, you will have to supply additional documents and dates to prove “first use” of the mark. Further, when selling a business, the company will have greater value to buyers if the intellectual property rights are registered.
Mark discusses lessons learned from his own business of practicing law. Try to minimize expenses during startup. Reducing overhead costs is important for efficiency and maximizing profits. Establishing a Virtual Office can save a lot of money in overhead costs. Outsourcing tedious work to contractors can also save money and time. Hiring a reception service rather than an employee ensures that calls to the business are promptly answered during business hours and clients can easily schedule appointments. Hiring contractors can reduce costs and reduce anxiety compared to having full time employees. Flat fee agreements and having clients pay upfront saves a lot of time in billing and collections. A flat fee eliminates the need to waste time tracking hours and itemize every task. If you wait to bill invoices at the end of a month, sometimes clients will delay payment or not pay at all. Estimate how many hours you anticipate spending on a type of project so you can calculate a flat fee and bill the client before starting a project.
Mark also discusses how he views a successful business and how to balance work and leisure. Set a financial goal of making an income amount with a targeted number of hours working each week. Keep track of how many hours you spend on projects, phone calls, emails, marketing, etc. You want to be a person who makes $100,000 annually working 30 hours per week rather than a person who makes $100,000 annually working 100 hours per week. Do not spend too much of the day reading and responding to emails. Have a designated timeframe for responding to emails and phone calls.
Mark recommends a book titled The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, which describes increasing work efficiency and enjoying life instead of working long hours and waiting until retirement to relax. He also recommends meditation as a method to reduce your anxiety and enable you to focus better on work. Even though much of the subject matter may be dry, keeping the atmosphere light and finding some humor in work improves the experience for all parties involved.
Trademark And Copyright Secrets From The Mark Goodman Law Center
We are proud to announce that Mr. Goodman has appeared on the “Fullerton Unfiltered” podcast.
In this podcast appearance, Mark Goodman describes how he became an attorney focused on intellectual property, before diving deep into his intellectual property law knowledge base. Ever wondered why you don’t see knock-off coffee shops called “Sbartucks”? The reason is trademark law. Mr. Goodman explains the policy reasoning behind our system and provides insights on how trademarks law can provide small business owners protection for their names, logos and more.
There is also a full discussion of what copyright and patent law encompasses. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, artist, or inventor, then this podcast provides insights into why intellectual property is important and why protecting your property now can save you in the future. If you are interested at all in these subjects and want them explained in an easy-to-understand way, then give this podcast a listen.
Mr. Goodman provides a practical examination of the main kinds of intellectual property, including trademark, copyright and patent. The topics are discussed in terms of the benefits to businesses of any size. This incisive but light-hearted conversation shows what a consultation with Mr. Goodman is like (though it is more general than what would be discussed with a client.)
If you are an artist, inventor or interested in starting your own business, then the information provided in this podcast will expand your understanding of intellectual property and share some advice from an industry professional. Knowing what you have and how you might protect it is the first step towards fully leveraging your intellectual property. If this sounds interesting to you, then give the podcast a listen.