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Business Lessons From Katherine Heigl's Lawsuit

One of the worst things that can happen to a business is to get caught up in a high-profile lawsuit with a celebrity.

Just ask lawyers and PR managers for Duane Reade, the drug-store chain that's being sued by actress Katherine Heigl for allegedly misappropriating her image on Twitter and Facebook, The Associated Press reports.

While business owners may be eager to boast that celebs use their products or shop in their stores, what legal lessons can you learn from Heigl's lawsuit?

5 Legal Tips If You're Opening a Pet Store

For animal lovers looking to open up a neighborhood pet store, what are some legal tips you should keep in mind?

Unlike a typical retail store that sells clothes or toys, owning a pet store requires that you take care of live animals.

So here are five tips to keep in mind if you're opening a pet store:

Hiring via a Staffing Company? 3 Legal Reminders

Need to hire new workers? A staffing agency may be able to help get the job done -- but there are a few legal issues you'll want to consider first.

Some staffing agencies can place the right candidate at your firm without you having to sift through a high volume of job applications. Others will allow you to select and interview candidates, but will handle the hiring and other HR tasks so your small business doesn't have to.

However, before you sign up with a staffing company, here are three legal tips to keep in mind:

Home Office Tax Deduction Made Simple for 2013

If you use part of your home for your business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office tax deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes.

The best part is that the IRS has now simplified the method for determining the home office tax deduction.

But do you qualify for the simplified deduction?

Naming Your Business: 5 Legal Tips

Naming your business is one of the most important steps new business owners take. But it can also lead to legal troubles.

Some common mistakes include choosing a business name that's already taken and forgetting to register your business' name with the state, if required. Even using a name that pokes fun at a recognized brand -- like the "Dumb Starbucks Coffee" store in Los Angeles last weekend (which turned out to be a comedian's publicity stunt, Reuters reports) -- can potentially lead to lengthy litigation.

So if you're trying to come up with a name for your business, here are five legal tips to get you started:

25 Terrible Passwords Biz Owners Should Avoid

With more businesses being hit by cyberattacks, small business owners will want to take precautions. One simple thing you can do is to avoid using the 25 most common (and most terrible) passwords that are floating around the Internet.

Password-management firm SplashData has released its annual list of the 25 most popular online passwords. These passwords make it very easy for other people to log in to your personal accounts, which puts your personal information at risk, according to the company.

So without further ado, here are the 25 worst passwords by rank, according to SplashData:

Small Business Taxes: 10 Basic Tips for Startups

Starting a small business can be taxing, both literally and figuratively. That's why our Starting Your Own Business series is concluding today with an introduction to small business taxes.

Figuring out your business tax obligations is one of the biggest hurdles facing small business owners. You never know when Uncle Sam is going to conduct an audit on your business, so it's best to make sure you cover all your bases.

But with so many tax rules in place, where should you begin? Here are 10 basic tax tips for small businesses that can help keep you off the IRS' radar:

Staffing Your Small Business: 3 Legal Concerns

Adequately staffing a small business requires careful consideration by an employer on a host of potential legal issues. Our Free Enterprise series on Starting Your Own Business is here to clarify some of the most common concerns.

For starters, business owners should focus on the nuts and bolts of staffing, such as hiring, salary, benefits, conflict management, and termination.

To begin thinking about these issues, ask yourself the following three questions:

Which Business Licenses, Permits Do You Need?

When starting your own business, it's important to figure out which business licenses and permits you need before you can legally open up shop.

Although most businesses need a federal employer identification number for tax purposes, the number of required licenses and permits needed at the state and local level can seem daunting.

So which types of business licenses or permits do new business owners need to have?

Is starting a business one of your New Year's resolutions? If so, what are the first steps you need to take?

As the year opens with new possibilities, so do the opportunities for you to become your own boss by getting your own venture off the ground. FindLaw's Free Enterprise blog is here to help, with a five-part series on the legal ins and outs of Starting Your Own Business.

Today we'll begin with a general overview. While being your own employer won't be easy, completing these five key steps will have you well on your way to entrepreneurial greatness: