Business Basics – Copyrights

Protecting your intellectual property is a vital part of protecting your business. Your intellectual property will essentially define your brand – the very element of your business that consumers associate with all of the goodwill you’ve built into your business. We’ve already talked about trademarks, but this week we decided to look at the other half of intellectual property protection; the copyright. So what exactly is a copyright? And what does registering a copyright even protect?

Copyright Symbol

Copyright Symbol

What is a copyright?

Copyright protection actually dates all the way back to the advent of the printing press. After its invention, it was much easier to copy and sell books. But the printing press also meant that rebellious literature could also be produced much more quickly. This, combined with the threat to the livelihood of the creators of the works being printed, meant the government began to license shops with the right to print copy – and thus the copyright was born. As the decades passed copyright protection became more about protecting the artist, and less about stifling rebellious text, and today we continue to use copyright protections to enforce the rights creators have to their work.

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50 States of Incorporation: Iowa

incorporate in IowaHome to the most crooked street in the world in Burlington’s Snake Alley, and the world’s largest strawberry, Iowa is this week’s ’50 States of Incorporation’ spotlight.

Iowa is often fondly referred to as the “American Heartland.” It’s the only state whose eastern and western borders are completely made up of rivers, with the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River to the west. Iowa’s capital and largest city is Des Moines. The overall population rings in as being the 30th most populous of the states.

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Do Businesses Prefer Limited Liability Companies Or Corporations?

Limited Liability Company formations outpace Corporate formations by nearly two-to-one, so the easy answer to this question seems to be that businesses prefer LLCs. However, what works for one, or even the majority, of businesses may not be right for others. Every company faces its own unique challenges and has its own needs, and even though LLC formation is so much higher than corporate formation, that doesn’t mean that every business will be happy with a limited liability company structure.

LLCs vs Corporations

The main reason behind why LLCs continue to be so popular seems to be the ease in which an entrepreneur can run an LLC, either by themselves or with a handful of other people. Limited Liability Companies don’t require annual shareholder meetings, nor do they need meticulous notes on every debate that leads to a business decision. Corporations, on the other hand, can be a bit of a pain to run and have to contend with plenty of extra state regulations. But what sort of companies find dealing with those regulations worth the benefits of a corporate structure? And what kind of businesses do better as limited liability companies?

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The Art of Intrapreneurship in Small Business

We are quite familiar with the term “inner calling” – it has a streak and a pull of its own. Intrapreneurship is one element which is supposed to lead to path breaking organizational development from within an enterprise. This particular concept is picking up steam because people are realizing that it is a lot easier to develop a start-up, while already on the inside at an established company. And while entrepreneurs are in the spotlight right now, that will probably change once the public sees just how talented intrapreneurs can be. However, both initially and in the long run you should remember that this art in business is delicate and tends to attune itself with both conforming and conflicting interests.

While the idea of becoming an intrapreneur can seem like an easy route to pursue toward success, you still have to know how to approach it so that you avoid mistakes that others have faced along the way.

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50 States of Incorporation: Idaho

Our next state is famous for producing 33% of the potatoes grown in the U.S., and 85% of commercial trout. This state is also home to the famous Salmon River- the longest free-flowing river to flow within a single state. Who is our mystery state bachelor? None other than Idaho!

Idaho is located in the northwestern region of the United States. It comes in as the 14th largest, 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the states. Its capital is Boise.

As far as starting a business in the potato state goes, Forbes ranks it at number 19 for the best states for business due to its average rankings of business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life.

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50 States of Incorporation: Georgia

Georgia boasts one of the fastest growing populations, and economies, in America. 15 Fortune 500 companies call Georgia home and, if taken alone, Georgia would have the 28th largest economy in the world. Despite its reputation as the Peach State, Georgia also produces pecans, soy, corn, and poultry. Tourism and culture also make up a major part of the Georgian economy, and a flat corporate income tax of 6% continues to attract new businesses to the state. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, Georgia’s state and local corporate, income, and sales tax are all low enough that Georgia falls below the national average tax burden. But what does it actually take to form a business in Georgia? And what should you know before incorporating in the Peach State?

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How to Boost Consumer Trust When Launching an Online Business

Online businesses have a distinct cost advantage over brick and mortar businesses – they don’t need to rent out a storefront at a good location. Their owners can save on rent overheads by running their business out of their homes.

Businesses that have a physical presence, though, have a distinct advantage in another way – people trust them more because they can see them. People buying from physical stores know that they are there for them, should a problem turn up.

They can look at the store assistants and the manager to see if they trust them through the buying process. If there’s a quality issue, it’s always easy to go back to the store for a return or exchange. They know that storefront retailers are serious businesses. They’ve invested money in launching a store and hiring people.

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5 Cost-Effective Ways to Expand Your Home-Based Small Business

When starting a home-based small business, you hope it will grow into a thriving empire…or at least a reliable ongoing income source. The key word is “grow.” And as your business grows, you’ll likely reach a point when you’re selling all you can produce without making serious changes to your business plan. Here are some ideas to help you overcome that plateau.
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