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Maryland Business Formation Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: Can images created using AI websites be used for small business ideas such selling t-shirts or stickers?

I am looking to possibly start selling stickers and t-shirts online via Etsy. The images I am hoping to use would be created using AI websites. Is this something I am legally allowed to do?

Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford
answered on Jan 29, 2024

This is a great question, and is quite naturally very complex given the ever-changing landscape of technology. Right now, general intellectual property laws that govern internet images are essentially limited to uniquely created imagery and content that is produced by human individuals.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: Can images created using AI websites be used for small business ideas such selling t-shirts or stickers?

I am looking to possibly start selling stickers and t-shirts online via Etsy. The images I am hoping to use would be created using AI websites. Is this something I am legally allowed to do?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Using images created using AI websites for your small business ideas, such as selling t-shirts or stickers online, raises questions about copyright and intellectual property rights. While AI-generated images may not have a human creator in the traditional sense, they can still be subject to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Internet Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: Can I use free Canva elements/graphics on logos, pdfs, blog posts, social media accounts, and other course materials?

The Canva terms of service are a bit confusing. My understanding is that if I have the free Canva plan and use only free Canva elements, I can essentially use the pictures/designs for anything I want besides selling them directly (in the context of trying to compete with Canva). I am starting an... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 26, 2023

Your understanding of Canva's terms of service is largely on track, but there are nuances to consider. With a free Canva plan, you can use the free elements in your projects, including logos, PDFs, blog posts, social media, and course materials. This is generally acceptable as long as... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Contracts, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: If I wish to place my graphic designs on stationary, tee shirts, and mugs, and sell them via Amazon, do I need...

...to obtain a DBA from the state if I wish to sell the products in my name (no branding) as a sole proprietor.

Also, do I need to register with the state at all if I operate as a sole proprietor AND I will NOT have NOR hold any inventory? (It would be a "print on demand" side... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 17, 2023

If you plan to conduct business under your own name as a sole proprietor, obtaining a DBA ("Doing Business As") is not typically required. However, if you decide to sell your products under a name other than your legal name, then a DBA would be necessary. The requirement to register your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: I have an LLC registered with my personal address. If I hire an RA and Virtual Business Address company...

...will my personal address be moved from the public record(unsearchable) and replaced by the address of the hired RA and Virtual Business Address? Or do I have to dissolve my LLC and create a new one with a new name?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Nov 14, 2023

When you file a change of resident agent form, the prior forms on file are not deleted or removed. Therefore, although the search information on the SDAT Business Entity Site will be updated to reflect the new resident agent name and address, and will be what someone will see when they search for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Real Estate Law for Maryland on
Q: I am a new real estate agent serving Maryland. Is the use of the word “Realty” prohibited in my business name?

I am a new real estate agent. Got my license back in March 2022 but am just now actively pursuing real estate. Currently a solo agent at Samson Properties serving Maryland only but would like to get licensed in DC and VA as well.

As advised I’ve created an LLC (Carla Clemente Realty)... View More

Thomas C. Valkenet
Thomas C. Valkenet
answered on May 26, 2023

Welcome to the Club! I am also a licensed Maryland Broker, and our Law Firm owns a separate brokerage.

You may use the word "Realty" in your entity name. Review the ethics rules of your local, State and National associations for how you may portray yourself. For instance, you mut...
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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Contracts, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: I’d like to trade mark “Train Like A Freak.” I’d like to trademark it as a “lifestyle” slogan for serious gym goers

Thru Proper nutrition and exercise. What would it cost (in total) in general to attain this trademark?

Thank you kindly for your time in this matter

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 2, 2023

The cost of obtaining a trademark for "Train Like A Freak" would depend on various factors, such as whether you hire an attorney or file the application yourself, the number of classes of goods or services you apply for, and the potential challenges or oppositions to your application.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Contracts, Trademark and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: I’d like to trade mark “Train Like A Freak.” I’d like to trademark it as a “lifestyle” slogan for serious gym goers

Thru Proper nutrition and exercise. What would it cost (in total) in general to attain this trademark?

Thank you kindly for your time in this matter

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
answered on Apr 24, 2023

The law prevents attorneys from "price fixing" or agreeing to charge a uniform fee for services so this is not the place to get an answer on fees. That said, I can understand your desire to get a sense of what costs might be involved before you retain an attorney. Some firms might... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Tax Law for Maryland on
Q: Can someone abandon their LLC business and debt to then open a fresh new LLC offering and providing the same services

What is it called when someone abandons their LLC business, which is deeply in debt and owes back taxes, to then have someone else open a new LLC for them and that new LLC offer the very same services? Is it legal? It is essentially a one person business and without that person the new business... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 23, 2023

More facts would be needed, but it is possible to pierce the corporate veil of the new company and go after the owner personally, or unwind the transfers of assets to the new company, under the theory of fraudulent conveyance, as well as violation of the Limited Liability Company Act that requires... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Contracts and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: Can I be paid to fix a reverse osmosis filter without a plumbing license? Would fixing the filter be considered plumbing

The task/job was assigned to me through an app called task rabbit.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 19, 2023

Maryland Business Occupations and Professions Code, Section 12-101, defines the term plumbing, and the need for a license, as follows:

(n) Provide plumbing services

(1) “Provide plumbing services” means to install, maintain, extend, alter, or remove piping, a plumbing fixture, a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Question on Liability after Switching to LLC from Sole Proprietor

Let's say that I previously was a sole proprietor and served client ABC during that time as a sole proprietor. Let's also say that at some point after serving client ABC, I formed an LLC for the same business. At some point after the formation of the LLC, client ABC sues me/my business.... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 11, 2024

If the basis for the lawsuit is for something that happened before you formed the LLC, then the LLC shield does not protect you from personal liability.

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Our partner locked us out from our business after withdrawing from association. He is trying to open a business w/o us.

Our business partner has locked us out of our business. They withdrew from the association, and we proceeded with the company opening. Because the venue is under their name, they seeked vengeance and locked us out of the venue. Now after withdrawing from the association they are working to open up... View More

Michael Ray Smith
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Michael Ray Smith
answered on Feb 21, 2023

Please consult an attorney in your state. Your question is far too complicated to be answered here. They lawyer you consult will need much more information.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Maryland on
Q: trying to write articles of conversion for llc - it's been rejected twice. I don't understand what they are asking

This is in MAryland

1) Article III does not meet the 4A-1103(c)(3) requirement. You must specifically state that the conversion was approved according to the provisions of the subtitle. You have not cited the subtitle.

2) Article IV appears to be copied and pasted from... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on May 11, 2022

Perhaps it is time to pay a lawyer to do this for you. This is not a forum to request that lawyers draft documents for you as their answer, and the only way to see how your specific document fails to comply with the code requirements is for a lawyer to read what you have drafted, and compare it to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: In MD can I use my llc to run an apparel store and for a self nail salon? Do I need 2 trade names under the llc?

I use my llc to run my apparel store but I want to start a self run nail business and I don't want to start a new llc. Can I use the llc to parent the 2 companies ? Do I need to purchase a trade name for each or can I just do one for the nail business and continue operating the llc apparel... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 15, 2022

Most LLC articles of organization contain a purpose clause that authorizes the LLC to engage in any lawful business or activity, but unless the articles strictly limit the business activity of the LLC, then the LLC can run any type of business it is otherwise lawful for anyone to engage in. The... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Maryland on
Q: What is the maximum number of stockholders in a Maryland close corporation?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 15, 2022

Maryland does not impose a limit on the number of shareholders of a Close Corporation, but practically speaking, because unanimity is required, and because the whole purpose of a Close Corporation was to allow small business enterprises consisiting of a few owners to essentially operate as a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: What are my rights as a llc when a contract is being broken? I have refused to sign a addendum.

I have a contract with a organization. I was handed addendum to the contract which declined to sign. They threatened to They threatened to suspend contract. Three is 25 hour week retainer fee. The contract can be cancelled by either party by giving 60 day notice in writing which I have not... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 30, 2022

You need to take your contract to a lawyer to review what it actually says, and evaluate whether it has been breached or not, and what your remedies are in the event it is breached. Your post does not really say anything other than they are trying to change the terms of the agreement you both... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Formation for Maryland on
Q: Do I have to re-file my trade name if I had reinstated the LLC under a new legal name after it was forfeited?

Trade name was filed in 2020, the LLC name changed 2022

Shaneka Johnson
Shaneka Johnson
answered on Mar 7, 2022

In Maryland trade name registrations are valid for 5 years. Trade names register the core name of the business, without the "Inc., LLC, etc." designation. Renewed businesses are covered under their new designation if they retain the core name on their trade name registration.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: How to get a liquor license for a party bus?

What statutes and licenses allow for the consumption of alcohol on a party bus and/or mobile bar?

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 10, 2021

Each county and the City of Balitomore has its own liquor board license regulations for sale of liquor within their jurisdictions, so you will need to check with each jurisdiction in which you intend to operate. You will have to check with each liquor license board whether a license is required to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Business Occupations and Professions Title 18 - Security Systems Technicians Subtitle 1 - Definition;

General Provisions § 18-102(d)(2) Have access to circumventional information. What is circumventional information? I looked up the word circumventional and it's not a word.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Nov 4, 2021

MD Code, Business Occupations & Professions, § 18-101. Definitions

(a) In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.

Circumventional information

(b)(1) “Circumventional information” means information, including pass codes, that allows an individual...
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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Maryland on
Q: Are you required to open a business bank account?

If you're a sole proprietor and also file a DBA in Maryland.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 26, 2021

No, but it’s a lot cleaner and easier for accounting and tax purposes if you do, since you need to separate out business expenses and income from your personal expenses. It’s a much better business practice as well since there may come a time when you’d like to obtain business financing,... View More

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