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Carole Clark Isakson, Author at BGS BARNA, GUZY & STEFFEN, LTD.


We see them every day, that notice at the bottom of an email stating something to the effect that the contents of the email are confidential and that if you have received it in error you should alert the sender immediately and not use the information you have received. The use of confidentiality/disclaimer footers is so common that most of us do not even notice them anymore. They appear below the sender’s signature block and may be emphasized by colored text or capital letters. But regardless of appearance I think we can all agree that few of us actually read them. And even when we do? From a practical standpoint we already read the contents of the email before we get to the disclaimer. One..

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Yep, it’s true, the Russians actually ARE after you!

If you’ve been following the news lately you have heard that warnings have been issued concerning Russian hackers’ coordinated attacks on US data. The latest activities are not directed at the CIA or NSA or FBI… they are directed at people just like you. By intercepting the data from your router, for instance, a hacker has access to literally everything you’ve done on your home PC or other device. What can you do to protect your family data? This article has a few pointers. Check for updates and advice from the router manufacturer! Start with your Wi-Fi provider. Continue to follow these rules, which you hopefully implemented at your house long ago: a. No one downloads software without you knowing (for instance, many free..

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Totally overwhelmed by the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!

  These days, everything is subject to being overhyped – cars, diets, clothing, the next snowstorm.  When advertisers use words like “amazing”, “breathtaking”, and “life changing” we barely take notice. But having traveled to Nebraska to witness the total solar eclipse, I can tell you that those words, in all their glory, are not strong enough to describe the experience! Last Friday August 18th we began our eclipse road trip.  Seven us (me, my parents, husband, niece, teenage daughter and her friend) took two cars and headed to the tiny town of Mullen Nebraska, located in the totality. We booked our three rooms at the Sandhills Motel in Mullen A YEAR AGO.  The drive was gorgeous, through the sandhills, and we were delighted with the..

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HELP!!! Someone trademarked my company name!!

Yep. Before explaining how this happens, a little background information is needed. Every state has an office charged with registering businesses that wish to do business in the state. In Minnesota, that office is called the Secretary of State’s office (hereafter SOS) and registering businesses is one of many tasks it undertakes.  The SOS will not permit a company to be formed that has the exact same name as an already registered company, and other rules apply in choosing a name. Once the name is registered, it is yours to use – doing business in Minnesota. It is not reserved for your use beyond the borders of the state. There is a common misconception that forming an entity at the state level somehow reserves..

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Ownership is important… especially in the context of a sale. If you want to sell your company, whether as an asset sale or through an ownership sale, the buyer will want to make sure that it can continue to use the software that you use. Conversely, if you are buying a company, don’t forget that the accounting software and whatever else is used in running the company is an important asset! Business owners FREQUENTLY forget about this.  When investigating assets do not forget about the software (and make no assumptions…) Ownership is incredibly important, as this gives that person: The right to reproduce the code The right to create “derivative works” based on the code The right to distribute copies of the code The right..

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