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Be cautious when using alternative lending to fund your business

There are a lot of wildly-creative people out there with some great business ideas. If you happen to be one of them and are ready to start your own business, all you have to do is get a little funding.

That, unfortunately, is exactly where a lot of wildly-creative ideas end up dying. Thanks to their shady past involving questionable wheeling and dealing, many banks are being very stringent about the loans that they give out these days. They often don't see the value in the creative, only the tried and true.

Protecting your business interests with employee contracts

If you own a business in California, you know that one of the most potentially complex aspects of operating your own company is effectively managing employment matters. If you have employees or expect to expand and hire additional help in the future, it is smart to know how to protect your interests as an employer. One way is through effective employment contracts. 

It's not enough to simply interview someone and hire them. Having employment contracts is a good way to avoid future legal issues with your employees, as well as protect the interests of your company. It can be prudent to draft your employment contracts with the help of someone who knows the law and knows how to shield your business from unnecessary conflicts.

White male conservative files discrimination suit against Google

A former Google employee has launched a class-action suit against the tech giant because he claims he was unfairly terminated for espousing the political views of a white male conservative.

Another former employee has joined his suit, which aims to represent all of the downtrodden white male conservatives that Google has mistreated over the years.

3 big mistakes tiny companies often make

Every business has to start somewhere -- Apple started in a garage and Facebook in a dorm room -- but it's important to look back at what went wrong and the mistakes that were made by startups that have gone before you so that you avoid some of the same problems.

That way, when your tiny little startup becomes a corporate giant, you won't be trying to figure out how to fix these mistakes from the early days:

Learn to prevent lawsuits before you even hire an employee

Preventing employment-related lawsuits isn't easy. You even have to be careful with potential employees -- the applicants you meet during a hiring process.

To insulate your company against people who feel that they were mistreated or discriminated against during the hiring process, take the following steps:

New evidence rules for federal court go into effect

Business professionals take note: There have been some changes in what it takes to authenticate electronic evidence so that it can be used in a federal court.

The changes are part of the new Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) for 2018, although they actually took effect Dec. 1, 2017. While several rules were amended, Rule 902 is the focus here.

Creating a harassment-free workplace

It is unlikely you have missed the news stories about the many women coming forward to accuse powerful men of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. While the details of these encounters may have horrified you, they also may have caused you to take a closer look at the policies in your own business.

If you have concerns that you are not doing enough to protect your employees from harassment and, as a result, to protect your business from a devastating lawsuit, you may benefit from seeking advice about the best practices for creating a workplace culture that does not tolerate harassment of any kind.

How (and why) you need to protect your trademark

Your business and your trademark are all tied closely together -- especially if you're a small business concentrating on just a few (or even only one) product that you want to bring to the world.

However, if you don't protect that trademark, you can lose it.

Amazon worker files suit over unpaid overtime and missed breaks

The devil is often in the details -- especially when it comes to the law.

That's essentially what's driving the complaint filed against an Amazon fulfillment center in Sacramento. The employer is accused of regularly scheduling employees for 10-hour work shifts -- or even longer.

Considering going into business? Consider franchising

If you decide to go into business for yourself, one of the most popular options is franchising.

Franchising is a way to start an independent business and be your own boss while benefiting from the name recognition of an already-established brand. It helps reduce some of the risks and costs faced by new business owners.

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