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Business Law Articles

How to collect on a customer debt

Businesses need to get paid to stay afloat, and it’s no fun to spend a lot of time collecting a debt from a customer. When someone doesn’t pay and you need to collect, here are some tips for doing it: Be sure you know the rules where you live. State law debt collection rules vary. While the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies only to third-party debt collectors and lawyers, some state laws apply to

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Can noncompete be enforced against independent contractor?

A noncompete clause in an employment contract can be an effective way to keep a worker from leaving to work for a competitor for a defined period of time after he or she stops working for you. Sometimes independent contractors have as much, or nearly as much, company-specific knowledge as employees. So the question is whether you should include a noncompete clause in your independent contractor agreement. If you require independent contractors to sign a noncompete

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EEOC requires businesses provide pay info by Sept. 30

All businesses with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees must submit their 2018 pay data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by Sept. 30, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has decided. The information, which must include how much each employer paid workers of various sexes, races and ethnicities last year, is intended to be part of the EEOC’s ongoing collection of demographic data. Businesses must submit the

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Protect against possible hacking of company car GPS

Businesses that insert GPS trackers in their employees’ cars tend to see improved productivity, efficiency and safety. These devices also come with concerns over employee privacy, but the benefits often trump the risks. However, a recent report brought to light a measurable hacking risk with GPS trackers. The report in Motherboard stated that a hacker known as L&M has hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts. Companies use these apps

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Should you accept Venmo, PayPal & Zelle? Pros and cons of digital payments for businesses, landlords

Pros and cons of digital payments for businesses, landlords Many people are exchanging money these days with new, electronic payment options such as Venmo, PayPal and Zelle. These online and app-based services make it easy to pay a friend for dinner or a roommate for half of this month’s bills. Many customers and renters don’t have checking accounts, or prefer using digital payments, so the question of whether to accept these payments is arising regularly for

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Practice the art of responding to negative reviews

As a business owner in the internet age, you know a negative online review can discourage people from using your business. Research from Mintel indicates 70 percent of Americans go online to seek out reviews before making a purchase. Data from BrightLocal suggest 84 percent of people trust an online review as much as a recommendation from a friend. There’s a distinct art in learning to respond to negative reviews in a way that can help,

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Get website content the right way

Content marketing is becoming a go-to tool for businesses, but generating enough quality content to keep your blogs and social media posts populated can be a challenging proposition. Here are some guidelines to avoid copyright infringement issues when buying and repurposing content. Assume copyright: When you find information, pictures, video or music online, you should always assume that material is protected. Using content without permission can lead to copyright infringement lawsuits and monetary damages. Get permission:

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Know who owns your business IP rights

If intellectual property is a pivotal component of your business, you need to ensure you own the rights to that property. Demonstrating legal ownership does more than protect your IP from infringement; it adds to your business value when securing investors or new ownership. There are times in your business when you cannot assume ownership of certain intellectual property. Special consideration should be paid to IP as part of employee and contractor agreements, in third-party relationships

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Take caution when offering credit monitoring

If your business is involved in an information breach, you are not generally required to offer credit services to your customers. However, many organizations do, offering services such as credit reporting, credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity restoration services. Recognize that many data breaches do not actually involve risk to the consumer’s credit. Offering such services do not protect your customer from any harm that might result from the breach. What’s more, some courts have

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Text messages could be binding contract

As more business communication is conducted via text messages, businesses need to be aware that they can have legal ramifications. In the eyes of the law, text messages may not be as informal as you think. An issue is emerging regarding whether a text message can constitute a binding contract. Many states have no legislation or case law on the issue. However, most states have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, which stipulates that electronic writing

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