While it’s common for businesses to hire independent contractors for temporary or sporadic projects, the repercussions for incorrectly classifying a worker as an independent contractor are numerous and substantial. It’s important for an employer to detail the relationship with an independent contractor agreement in order to avoid a costly dispute down the road. Employers have a distinct advantage in classifying workers as independent contractors. The most important reason is that it saves money. For employees, an employer is required by law to pay for unemployment, Medicare, and social security taxes for each employee; for independent contractors, employers escape from having to pay these taxes. Navigating through the murky waters of accurate employee classification can result in a shipwreck. Companies are recommended to work closely with an attorney to ensure proper classification as either an independent contractor or an employee and effectively put it into writing.
Independent contractors are an especially thorny area that has resulted in confusion and expensive litigation for many employers. An attorney can assess if your worker should be treated as an independent contractor or employee.
Persuasive with the IRS
If an employer ultimately faces problems regarding employee classification then a court and/or the IRS may be persuaded if you used an attorney while setting up the contract.
Prevent future issues
Receive proactive legal risk management that will help you avoid problems before they arise by tapping into senior attorneys with considerable business experience.
What is a service mark?
A trademark is essentially a brand name. It’s a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that distinguishes the source of goods of one party from another. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used (or intended to be used) in commerce to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.
At what point should a company register a trademark?
It depends on a myriad of factors, but a lot of businesses will trademark and incorporate simultaneously. It’s advisable to trademark at least your name and logo in order to prevent others from ripping off your company and be provided a legal recourse if this ever happens.
Is my trademark protected even if I don’t register it with the USPTO?
Although common law trademark rights exist, it takes a lot more time and effort to prove your rights. Also, common law rights only extend to the geographic area your business is in, rather than being protected throughout the entire country if you register it with the USPTO.
When does the USPTO deny trademark applications?
Applications are routinely rejected based on the “likelihood of confusion” standard. According to the USPTO, “likelihood of confusion exists between trademarks when the marks are so similar and the goods and/or services for which they are used are so related that consumers would mistakenly believe they come from the same source. Each application is decided on its own facts, and no strict mechanical test exists for determining likelihood of confusion.” As you can see, there is no bright line rule to follow. That’s why utilizing an attorney experienced with the USPTO makes sense.
How long does it take to register a trademark?
The total time for an application to be processed may be anywhere from almost a year to several years, depending on the basis for filing, and the legal issues which can take place during the examination of the application.
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