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Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong’s Answers

25 total

  • Job-related question: Can I publish a book?

    I am a D Reamer awaiting DACHA approval and my hope is to become a published writer . Is it possible to work with a literary agent and then under a publishing house considering my unlawful status ? Do I have to wait for my DACHA approval to get ...

    Tracy’s Answer

    Your ability to publish a book is not dependent upon your immigration status. Non-citizens can publish books. If it is your creative work, you can contract with others to commercialize or exploit that work.

    A possible solution would be to assign the rights to a corporate entity you own and have that business be the contracting party with the publisher. That might keep you under the radar a bit more for immigration concerns.

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  • The proposed name for my business is "Fashion Driven". Someone has "Driven" trademarked. How can I use this phrase?

    I am launching a mobile boutique that I want to call " Fashion Driven " Someone in the apparel industry has " Driven " trademarked . Since I am unable to register Fashion Driven as my business name , am I able to use it as a catch phrase on ...

    Tracy’s Answer

    Each mark is evaluated under the test of consumer confusion. Thus, the first question to ask is whether there is a liklihood that if a customer saw your fashion driven mark, he or she might be confused into thinking there was some association with the driven mark. Many factors are evaluated in making this determination. The first, is a comparison of the products and services involved. Are they related in some way? One example I use often is 9 Lives. There is a battery and a cat food both bearing this brand name mark. Now, no one would be confused into thinking that cat food and batteries came from the same source. Therefore, the marks are not confusingly similar and both coexist for different products.

    Other factors include the consumer commercial impression or perception of each mark. Would the addition of one extra word be sufficient to differentiate the two sources in the mind of the consumers?

    Some words are very distinctive. Some words are very common. This plays a role in how a consumer will differentiate between the two marks. The more unique or unusual the term, the stronger it is and more likely to seem distinctive in a consumer's mind. Words that are common, however, cause a consumer to look at more that the word alone in analyzing the source of the goods or services.

    As you can see, there are many factors involved and for that reason, you should not conclude the mark is not clear to use. Consulting with an experienced attorney will be well worth the time. You can only make good business decisions with good information. Since you are here in Rochester, you might also visit the Chester Carlson section of the Rochester Public Library downtown (Rundell branch). It has a section devoted to patent and trademark and has some trained librarians that can guide you in some DIY research. That also may have copies of presentations by myself and others that address how to do a trademark search and how to interpret the results. This a great resource that I find many people don't even know we have. It is well worth a few hours to see what you can learn if you plan to proceed on your own. I do, however, strongly recommend that you consult a trademark attorney. Experience matters in evaluating the issues and having a good feel for the outcome and work-around solutions that might exist.

    Good Luck!

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  • Is it possible to partner with my USA based relative to open and handle bank account of LL

    I am from India and want to open LL for my e Commerce website to tap USA market because US people believe in US very strongly . As per my knowledge a foreigner can open LL in Nevada or Delaware or any other US state on line . But problem is that...

    Tracy’s Answer

    I agree with the first answer, but would like to add a few additional thoughts: An LLC - a limited liability company, is a good solution because that entity form is flexible to allow unequal distribution of both control and profits. Thus, the operating agreement acts like a contract to set forth the details of the arrangement you have.

    You might also consider a business power of attorney to give him authority to act on your behalf for situations that might ordinarily require your presence.

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  • My relative has three sole proprietorship companies A, B and C. Could he change C to a parent company of A and B?

    He has a sole proprietorship restaurant A , a sole proprietorship traveling company B , and a sole proprietorship investment company C . He wants to change C to a parent company and change A and B to two subsidiaries of C . C will manage A and...

    Tracy’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, this is possible. It is important to understand that there is no entity yet, just 3 businesses operating as sole proprietorships. These are sometimes called "dba's". Essentially, this is trade name under which he is doing business, but there is no business separate from him as an individual. In other words, his liability and risk extends to the full value of his personal assets.

    Creating an entity such as a corporation or a limited liability company will shield his personal assets from liabilities of the business. This is the greatest benefit of incorporating a business. In some situations, however, insurance can mitigate the risks involved, reducing the advantages of the entity for the business owner.

    It is probably a good idea to create at least one entity that owns all of the business assets. This first step will give the benefit of protecting his personal assets. As to whether he needs 2 more entities, that requires more analysis. It is possible for one corporation to have several distinct businesses and brand names. They can operate independently under the same umbrella. This can reduce costs for taxes, insurance, and other expenses that might be duplicated with several separate businesses. However, the liabilities of one business can affect the other businesses. Most attorneys would favor separate entities, even if one was a wholly owned subsidiary of the other. But a good business attorney will evaluate not only the legal issues, but also the practical business issues and tax implications.

    In some cases, it makes sense to have 3 separate entities - then each is insulated from the other and the owner is insulated from the debts and liabilities of all 3. This might be advantageous is one of the businesses is riskier than the others, or if there is a possibility of each being sold separately in the future.

    There are many considerations in this situation. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you. Advice from an accountant will also provide valuable information as to what structure might be best for your unique business situation.

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  • How can a Canadian citizen establish an incorporation in US

    How can a Canadian citizen establish an incorporation in US . Are there any special states where Canadians are welcomed for business . Any help would be appreciated .

    Tracy’s Answer

    New York has no rules preventing a Canadian citizen from establishing and owning a US corporate entity such as an S-corp or a limited liability company (LLC). It is also possible for a foreign company to register to do business in New York. These rules will be the same in many states.

    I think the decision should be based more upon the business type you are opening. Some states have more advantageous tax rules or other regulatory environments that can be especially advantageous to certain businesses. (Some have no sales tax on certain consumer products, for example.) Where will you establish an office or manufacturing, shipping, and warehousing operations? This will also play an important role in your decision.

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