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The FTC Cranks Up the Heat on Wool

Wool LabelingI am a very judgmental shopper – I inspect the seams and make judgments on the quality of the workmanship. I have left a lot of garments on the rack due to fabric that looks or feels “cheap.” I suspect that I share these shopping habits with everyone that knows how to sew, but doesn’t have time to make it through the pile of fabric that they just had to have.

I also read labels, before I make a purchase and again before that first trip to my washing machine or the dry cleaner. While I am a careful consumer, and someone who has relied on wool to make it through more than 30 Michigan winters, I must confess that the Federal Trade Commission cares a lot more about the details of wool labeling than I do.  Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Fashion, Manufacturing

Grow Your Business with Foster Swift's SEED Group

The decisions an entrepreneur makes at the earliest stages of a business startup are critically important to the business's success.  From entity formation to fundraising to intellectual property strategies, the legal foundation that is laid from the outset can accelerate growth and increase options down the road. Read More ›

Categories: Entity Planning, Financing, Intellectual Property

Are You Personally Liable for Your Business's Debts?

Is your business structured so that you won't be personally responsible for your business's debts? Business owners might be surprised to learn that they can be held personally liable for their business's debts. But it's true, due to a concept called "piercing the corporate veil."

Whether a business owner is personally liable for business debts depends in part on the business's entity type. Learn more about which entity types offer a high degree of liability protection, here.

Categories: Entity Planning

Considering Offering an Unpaid Internship? Think Twice

Are you aware of the six-part test to determine whether or not  a worker can be classified as an unpaid intern? Most interns working at for-profit organizations must be paid at least the minimum wage, plus applicable overtime. To learn more about the risks of unpaid internships, read this technology law blog post.

Categories: Employment

Have questions? Get Answers at M-Power Your Art – Tuesday, May 24, 5:00pm to 7:00pm

DetroitAt the invitation of Andrea Rosenfeld, of the Detroit Art and Business Institute (DABI), I will be one of five “experts” available to chat with you on Tuesday night at the “M-Power Your Art” event.  This event is one of many learning and networking opportunities available to attendees of Detroit Startup Week. Check all of them out, and register, here. Read More ›

Categories: Entity Planning, News & Events

Who Will be Next?

The surprising death of Prince, not long after the death of Zaha Hadid, makes me wonder who will be next. I am not morbidly wondering what great artist, architect or designer will soon leave this world. I am instead wondering who will be the next person who will transform the ordinary. I admire everyone who envisions and creates music, art or form, in a building or on a body, which is truly transformative. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be inspired by Hadid’s work every time I drive through East Lansing.   Read More ›

Categories: News & Events

First Steps in Protecting a Trademark

You are using a trademark; what do you need to do to protect it? You need to file for protection at the state or federal level. But there are several first steps that should be done before you proceed with filing for state or federal protection. Learn more about these first steps in this short video clip.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Does your Design House have a Firm Foundation?

Lansing and Detroit fashion incubator participants have heard me extol the values of forming a business entity. However the topic often comes up in a manner that doesn’t accommodate a detailed discussion of selecting the right business entity. If you have yet to choose the entity that will provide the correct foundation for your fledgling business, or you formed an entity but question your choice, I am pleased to share with you a series of five articles regarding entity selection written by my partner, Joel Farrar. Joel specializes in entity selection, entity formation and taxation. Please take a look at Joel’s first article, Protect Yourself From the Risk of a Sole Proprietorship, and keep an eye on Fosterfashion for the next four articles, which will be published over the course of the next four months.

Categories: Entity Planning

Getting Your Design House in Order

On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, The Runway, Lansing’s fashion incubator, kicked off its 2016 Fashion 411 speaker series with the highly energetic duo, Claire and Shawn Buitencorp of Shock & Awww. Foster Swift was proud to be a sponsor of the event, but I did not prompt them to advise attendees to take care of legal matters. I was, of course, pleased to hear that advice coming from this successful duo, along with their advice to know when to rely on others to advance your business and the importance of research. Read More ›

Categories: Entity Planning, Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Labels – A Necessary Pain in the Neck

Garment TagIf you manufacture, import, sell, offer to sell, or distribute garments or textiles for household use, you need to know about labels.  If you don’t know precisely what you must label, or know the necessary content or location of your label, I highly recommend reading Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts, published by the Federal Trade Commission.  Threading Your Way is a much easier read than the Textile Products Identification Act, 15 U.S.C. § 70 et seq, and offers a lot of “how to” advice to include how to obtain and use a Registered Identification Number (“RIN”). Read More ›

Categories: Distribution, Manufacturing