Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP

New York City Business Law Blog

How can I be a better small business owner?

As a New York entrepreneur, you know that minor details can often make or break a business. However, it's important to keep the big picture in mind when it comes to your business, which entails a lot more than just signing on the dotted line. In fact, most entrepreneurs find that the biggest successes result from taking care of yourself both inside and outside the office.

According to Forbes, there are a number of habits small business owners should adopt to increase their chance of success. Indecision is often the bane of a great idea, and your inability to make important decisions in a timely manner could be holding you back. Crises of confidence often lead to second-guessing, which in turn can poison many aspects of your enterprise.

Yes, it is possible to have an amicable divorce

Believe it or not, it is possible to get through the marriage dissolution process in an amicable way. For couples in New York who are ready and willing to openly communicate and negotiate, divorce can be completed swiftly, smoothly and without spending time fighting in a court room - even when significant assets are involved. Sound too good to be true?

Not every couple wants to drag out divorce proceedings by fighting over everything. Not to say that conflicts won't arise, as they certainly can; but, if you agree to an uncontested divorce filing, fewer conflicts are likely to happen.

Things to know about child custody in New York

When two people get a divorce, the accumulated assets of the marriage are divided equitably between the two parties based on many factors. While this can become a contentious issue, it generally pales in comparison to the heightened emotions that often surround child custody decisions.

Naturally, every parent wants what's best for his or her child or children. If both parties can agree upon a solution, so much the better. Mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution may be the best way to make decisions regarding children for some couples.

Do I need a nondisclosure agreement?

If you are a Manhattan entrepreneur, you’re no doubt eager to talk about exciting business concepts with a variety of associates. However, protecting invaluable new ideas must be a consideration, and this can be accomplished by developing a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). These documents offer protection against those who might take information gleaned during discussions about your business and use it for their own advantage. offers some tips entrepreneurs can use to determine whether an NDA is necessary. An NDA will offer legal protection against the unwanted distribution of data once it leaves your hands, and can also help reduce expenses incurred on taking breach of information cases to court. For instance, if you plan to distribute concrete information during a meeting (such as documents containing sensitive data), implementing an NDA is highly recommended.

What can I do if my business gets audited?

There is nothing more frightening for Manhattan entrepreneurs than being notified of an impending business audit. Even if you make every effort to file your taxes accurately and in a timely manner, one small oversight or error could be working against you. To this end, knowing how to mitigate damage caused by an IRS audit is crucial to lasting commercial success.

First and foremost, CNBC recommends paying close attention to your record-keeping procedures. The IRS is allowed three years to audit a questionable return from the date it is filed. Accordingly, you should keep previous returns (along with any relevant back up documents) for at least that long. The standard time frame for an audit to be triggered is generally from 12 to 18 months, so don’t assume your business is safe just because the IRS hasn’t responded immediately after you’ve filed.

Tips on preparing your company for a merger or acquisition

The world of commerce is ever-evolving. In fact, many New York business owners may face the prospect of mergers and acquisitions, which can have a lasting impact on the ultimate success of a company. Preparation is key in this respect, as the proper amount of planning can ensure a smooth and positive transition for all involved.

According to Forbes, preparing for the sale of a business must include a few key factors. Creating a committee responsible for all negotiations related to a sale is a good step to take. While some businesses elect to have the CEO handle negotiations, this can actually serve to complicate the process. It’s also recommended that the initial draft of the merger contract be created by the selling company’s legal representative. This will help ensure that the contract remains compliant to any applicable laws and regulations.

How startups can protect valuable intellectual property

Intellectual property is at the very core of a business’s success. Accordingly, startups in New York City must make every attempt at protecting valuable intellectual property to ensure their businesses have the ability to thrive. Failure to do so could lead to competitors taking advantage of lucrative concepts, and here at Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy, we’ve seen firsthand the type of damage that can result from unsecured intellectual property.

Fortunately, there are methods a business owner can take to ensure vital assets remain protected. Inc. offers a few useful tips to entrepreneurs to this end, such as the creation of non-disclosure agreements. Securing intellectual property via contracts should be a part of a long-term patent strategy, which can inform decisions on what concepts and information require protection.

How can I make sure my employees remain inspired?

As a New York entrepreneur, you know that hiring great workers is a huge concern. However, how can you make sure your employees remain driven to succeed once you’ve secured them for your team? Complacency is an enemy of all innovative endeavors, but fortunately you can fight against it by utilizing the following tips.

Forbes recommends a number of methods for keeping employees inspired on a day-to-day basis. Recognizing when an employee or team has performed quality work is hugely motivating. This is especially inspiring when coming from the upper levels of an enterprise, as it will show your workers that you are in-tune with their daily activities. Setting a good example can also be helpful. As the leader of a company, you must exemplify the tenets of your mission statement if you hope to have employees follow it.

Tips on avoiding common small business tax mistakes

When it comes to a small business, tax preparation is no easy feat. New York entrepreneurs make all sorts of mistakes when filing taxes on behalf of their commercial enterprises, some of which can have lasting consequences. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these common mistakes, provided the right information is available.

The U.S. Small Business Association recommends optimizing expense records as a means of warding off any tax discrepancies. This entails a regular review of all accounts, as well as things like receipts and other essential information. Professional assistance from an accountant may also be necessary, while some businesses prefer to keep track of their finances via accounting software.

Do I need a buy-sell agreement?

As a Manhattan business owner, you know that circumstances can change in an instant. Accordingly, ensuring that your business is fully prepared for whatever waits around the corner entails having certain protections in place, such as a buy-sell agreement.

Forbes recommends that businesses of all sizes create a solid buy-sell agreement in anticipation of future shakeups. This is particular important for those commercial entities with multiple owners, as there may be some confusion about who exactly has a share in the business upon a co-owner’s death or retirement. These agreements can be applied to virtually every type of business, from proprietorships to corporations.  

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