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Being Legally Prepared for Business
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Fred S Steingold
Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business (Berkeley, California:  Nolo, 2009.  458p.)

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I was impressed by the content, organization and practicality of this reference book. This volume of over 450 pages in full-page format provides a detailed but usable guide to all aspects of starting and managing a small business. The detailed table of contents makes this a great resource for referencing on particular questions as they come up. The volume includes an even more detailed Index which will save time finding information on a particular question or topic.

Each chapter likewise provides a systematic and orderly coverage of its topic.  The chapters are efficiently organized with topic headers in the running text.  This makes it easy to scan dynamically for topics, questions and suggestions. Similarly the question and answer section of each chapter is a very good quick summary, review or specific focus for that chapter's topic.

Sidebars are attractively set into the running text to provide focused information or case studies on particular features of a topic. Each chapter includes multiple real-world examples of the topic , question or problem being dealt with in that section. Cautions and warnings are included to guide the new business owner at each stage of creation and management of the business.

In Appendix A the author provides a practical and helpful Checklist for Starting a Small Business. This is very helpful and can be used as a practical guide. There are checklists, guides, sample contracts and various forms all through the book, which enable the reader to gain confidence with the practical details that may be encountered in each aspect of their business management.

I found especially helpful the chapter legal forms of the business. This section explains the various kinds of corporations, the advantages and liabilities of each, with very practical detail. At every juncture taxation options and limitations are discussed. The author covers the differing purposes, management formats, legal procedures and tax benefits of each type of corporation.

Sample letters, forms and contracts are included and discussed, covering partnership considerations, rental or lease agreements, changes in such arrangements, permits and licenses. Major differences in approaches and requirements between the states if the US are discussed.  The author also discusses the professionals you need to work with on tax and finances, such as lawyers and CPAs.

This is an excellent resources and will be easy to use, so the new business owner or manager can be prepared for discussions with business partners, suppliers, shippers, banks, landlords, city and state officials, customers, credit agencies, collection problems, customer relations and employer responsibilities. This book is a great investment.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
[review] Dealing with Worldview in Business
[review] No Longer a Victim:  Financial Knowledge, Enabling Power
[review] Sharing the Wealth

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Reviewed on Amazon and OJTR 2 December 2009

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2009 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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