Disclosure Documents – Ways of Furnishing

Disclosure Documents – Ways of Furnishing

Ways of Furnishing Disclosure Documents The amended Rule expressly permits franchisors to furnish disclosure documents by any method they wish, including electronically. While a disclosure document must still be “in writing,” that term is defined broadly as “any document or information in printed form or in any form capable of being preserved in tangible form…

Patent Protection – Examination Of The Patent Application By The Patent Office

Patent Protection – Examination Of The Patent Application By The Patent Office

Examination Of The Patent Application By The Patent Office An application filed in the Patent and Trademark Office is assigned for examination to a group of patent Examiners having responsibility for the category of inventions to which the application relates. The Examiner is charged with making a thorough study of the application and all of…

Patent Protection – Patent Application Components

Patent Protection – Patent Application Components

Patent Application Components A patent application can only be filed with the Patent Office by the actual inventor or his or her representative. The basic elements of a patent application are as follows: A specification, including a claim or claims; Drawings, when necessary; An oath or declaration; and A filing fee. Patent Specification A specification…

Patent Protection – Requirements For Patentability

Patent Protection – Requirements For Patentability

There are several major hurdles an inventor must overcome before patent protection can be obtained. First, the applicant for patent must be able to demonstrate that he or she has developed a new, useful, and not obvious process or product. Since a patent cannot be obtained unless the invention is new, the invention must not…

Franchise Rule Disclosure Compliance Obligations – Who’s Responsible?

Franchise Rule Disclosure Compliance Obligations – Who’s Responsible?

Who is Responsible For Furnishing Disclosure Documents? Franchisors (including any subfranchisors) are responsible for furnishing disclosure documents to each prospective franchisee. A “prospective franchisee” is “any person (including any agent, representative, or employee) who approaches or is approached by a franchise seller to discuss the possible establishment of a franchise relationship.” Accordingly, franchisors do not…

Protecting Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, And Copyrights

Protecting Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, And Copyrights

Basic Types Of Intellectual Property Protection There are four basic types of intellectual property protection: patent trademark protection copyright protection and trade secret. Each will be discussed in order over the course of several posts. Patent Protection The United States patent system was created to help achieve various socially desirable goals. By providing an inventor…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Small Business Exemption From Rules and Enhanced Federal Compliance Assistance

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Small Business Exemption From Rules and Enhanced Federal Compliance Assistance

Small Business Exemption From Rules Minn. Stat. 14.127 provides a procedure for small businesses or small cities to claim exemption from certain state rules. Under the statute, an agency must determine if the cost of complying with a proposed rule in the first year after the rule will take effect will exceed $25,000 for a…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Access To The Regulatory Process

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Access To The Regulatory Process

Access To The Regulatory Process The Legislature delegates to state administrative agencies, commissions and boards, the authority to make rules to implement the laws administered and enforced by the agencies commissions and boards. (Note that the Governor has the power to veto all or part of an adopted rule.) The process by which these rules…

Franchise Rule Disclosure Compliance Obligations – Disclosure Documents

Franchise Rule Disclosure Compliance Obligations – Disclosure Documents

Disclosure Compliance Obligations The Rule specifies who must prepare the disclosures, who must furnish them to prospective franchisees, how franchisees receive the disclosures, and how long franchisees must have to review the disclosures and any revisions to the standard franchise agreement. Who is Responsible For Preparing Disclosure Documents? Franchisors are responsible for preparing disclosure documents….

Using Professional Advisors for Environmental Evaluation

Using Professional Advisors for Environmental Evaluation

Using Professional Advisors Even before beginning the environmental evaluation, the entrepreneur often will decide whether to perform that evaluation himself or herself, or engage an accountant or attorney to assist him or her. Professional advisors, such as attorneys and accountants, can greatly enhance an entrepreneur’s review of a potential business. This is true for at…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Environmental Audit Program

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Environmental Audit Program

Environmental Audit Program Environmental auditing is a process of examining a facility to determine how well its operations are complying with local, state and federal environmental regulations. This program encourages businesses and other organizations to conduct their own environmental audits and correct any problems they may discover. The intent of the program is to focus…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

“Brownfields” Sites “Brownfield” is a term for industrial or commercial properties that are candidates for redevelopment but sit idle due to actual or suspected contamination. Cities, development agencies, counties and other groups have identified land that would be attractive to developers if information about environmental status of these sites were available. For sites where no…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – "Brownfields" – Superfunds – Other

“Brownfields” Sites “Brownfield” is a term for industrial or commercial properties that are candidates for redevelopment but sit idle due to actual or suspected contamination. Cities, development agencies, counties and other groups have identified land that would be attractive to developers if information about environmental status of these sites were available. For sites where no…

Exemption From Franchise Rule: Exclusions from the Amended Rule

Exemption From Franchise Rule: Exclusions from the Amended Rule

Exclusions from the Amended Rule The following relationships are excluded from the amended Rule. Although each of these relationships may have some superficial similarities with a franchise relationship, none of them meet the definitional elements of the term “franchise,” and should not be confused with a franchise relationship. Employer-Employee Relationship Exclusion Bona fide employer-employee relationships…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed

Properties Where Environmental Assessments Have Not Been Completed Over the past few years, it has become standard practice for those involved in land transfers to perform an environmental assessment of the property before sale. Buying or developing land, particularly in former or current industrial-use areas, can pose problems if all parties involved do not know…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Ombudsman, Loan Program and Potential Problems with Property

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Ombudsman, Loan Program and Potential Problems with Property

Small Business Ombudsman The Small Business Ombudsman serves as a representative, or a liaison, for small businesses in their interactions with the MPCA. The Ombudsman offers the following services: confidential assistance to small businesses involving regulations and compliance; resolution of complaints or disputes involving regulations and small businesses; help in identifying funding sources to purchase…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota: Compliance Assistance

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota: Compliance Assistance

Compliance Assistance MPCA Publications The MPCA offers free fact sheets to assist the regulated community. For a list of available fact sheets, contact the MPCA or access it on the MPCA website at www.pca.state.mn.us under Publications within the program pages. In addition, the MPCA publishes an “Environmental Guide for Small Business in Minnesota,” created to…

Exemption From Franchise Rule – The “Insiders” Exemption

Exemption From Franchise Rule – The “Insiders” Exemption

The “Insiders” Exemption The amended Rule adds a new exemption for franchise sales to the officers, directors, general partners, managers (collectively “officers”), and owners of a franchisor. The prerequisites to qualify for this exemption differ depending upon whether the individual franchise purchaser is an officer, director, general partner, or manager, on the one hand, or…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota: Solid Waste Management

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota: Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Management County Waste-Management Plans The Minnesota Legislature gave primary responsibility for solid-waste management to the state’s 87 counties. Contact the county solid-waste officer for details about the county waste-management plan, which outlines waste disposal options for businesses and for information about relevant ordinances. This plan, developed by the county and approved by the…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Air Pollution Control Requirements

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Air Pollution Control Requirements

Air Pollution Control Requirements Minnesota businesses must comply with MPCA rules to protect air quality. Some rules apply even though the business will not have air emissions requiring permits. Motor Vehicle Emission Controls Owners of businesses that operate motor vehicle fleets should be aware that it is contrary to state rules and federal regulations to…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Permits for Categorical Industries

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Permits for Categorical Industries

Permits for Categorical Industries Certain types of industries are required to be regulated under the Clean Water Act even if they discharge their wastewater to a municipal sanitary system. Examples of these industries are: pulp and paper mills; most food processing plants; textile mills; chemical manufacturing plants; electroplating companies; plastics and other synthetics manufacturers; fertilizer…

Exemption From Franchise Rule – Large Franchisee Exemption

Exemption From Franchise Rule – Large Franchisee Exemption

Large Franchisee Exemption The amended Franchise Rule exempts franchise offers and sales to large entities – such as airports, hospitals, and universities – that have been in business for at least five years and have a net worth of at least $5 million. What Type of Business Experience Is Required? To qualify for the exemption,…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – State Disposal System Permits

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – State Disposal System Permits

State Disposal System Permits State disposal system permits are required for disposal of wastewater other than to surface waters, including large septic tank and drainfield systems and spray irrigation of wastewater. The need for an SDS permit may be satisfied by certain construction or operating practices; these must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Only…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Storm-Water Discharge Permits

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Storm-Water Discharge Permits

Storm-Water Discharge Permits Certain types of industrial facilities must apply for a storm-water discharge permit from the MPCA. In addition, storm-water permits may be required for certain construction activities. Minnesota’s storm-water permitting program is designed to help improve the quality of the state’s waters by reducing or eliminating the chemicals and sediments carried into surface…

Exemption From Franchise Rule | Large Franchise Investment

Exemption From Franchise Rule | Large Franchise Investment

Large Franchise Investment Exemption The amended Rule exempts franchise offers and sales where the initial investment is atleast $1 million, excluding the cost of unimproved land and any franchisor (or affiliate)financing. In addition, the prospective franchisee must sign an acknowledgment that thefranchise sale is exempt from the Franchise Rule because the prospective franchisee will bemaking…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits NPDES permits are required for any discharge of wastewater into surface waters, including noncontact cooling water and air-conditioning or heat-pump water. NPDES permits are not required if the discharge is to a publicly-owned sanitary sewer system. However, local permits may be required – check with your local municipality….

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Feedlot Permits

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Feedlot Permits

Feedlot Permits The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regulates the collection, transportation, storage, processing and disposal of animal manure. The Feedlot Program implements rules governing these activities. MPCA is the principal agency for regulating feedlots in Minnesota. In addition, many counties administer the program for feedlots under 1,000 animal units. A National Pollution Discharge Elimination System…

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Storage Tanks

Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – Storage Tanks

Storage Tanks Tank owners are required to register their tanks with the MPCA. Owners of regulated underground storage tanks (USTs) and above ground storage tanks (ASTs) must report information such as tank age, size, and contents within 30 days after installation of a new tank, or within 30 days after any changes in tank ownership,…

Minnesota Non-Solicitation Agreements: Need Independent Consideration?

Minnesota Non-Solicitation Agreements: Need Independent Consideration?

Does a Non-Solicitation Agreement Need Independent Consideration? The question is whether a non-solicitation agreement in Minnesota requires consideration similar to that required of non-compete agreements. The short answer is yes, non-solicitation agreements do require independent consideration similar to that required of non-compete agreements.

Exemption From Franchise Rule – Oral Agreements and Petroleum Marketers and Resellers Exemption

Exemption From Franchise Rule – Oral Agreements and Petroleum Marketers and Resellers Exemption

Oral Agreements The amended Rule exempts purely oral relationships that lack any written evidence of a material term of the franchise relationship or agreement, as a matter of policy, to avoid problems of proof in its enforcement. However, the exemption does not apply when there is any writing, even if unsigned, with respect to a…