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The New York Times: When Starting a Business, Consider the Liabilities

In the start-up world, even the most careful entrepreneurs – with the latest gadgets – can find themselves facing unexpected legal trouble that could potentially derail a dream before it even sets off.

Sometimes a new business owner tries to save money by ignoring certain issues like, patents, taxes and copyright but many of these business killers are preventable, experts say.

When Josh York, Founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ, decided to launch his mobile fitness training he knew he would need to get insured. GYMGUYZ, based in Plainview, N.Y., brings the gym to the client’s home, school, work pace, or setting of their choice. “I didn’t start training anyone until I had the insurance,” said Mr. York, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University.

Getting insurers on board wasn’t easy. Mr. York contacted five companies before finding one that would sign GYMGUYZ on. He had to demonstrate that he could strap the equipment in place to lower the risk of road accidents as well as that his certification as a personal trainer would reduce any chance that clients could get injured.

Initially, York tried to save money by not insuring the equipment in the van but once the van was vandalized in 2014, he started insuring both the van and the equipment as well. Other legal issues can also arise, for instance, Mr. York made sure to trade mark the GYMGUYZ logo and bought both the spellings of the website domain GYMGUYZ and GYMGUYS, in case of any copy cats.

“People laughed at me and told me I was crazy,” Mr. York said. “They said, ‘Why would you do that?”

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