Skip to main content


This guide features resources made available by Auburn University, in addition to those that are freely available on the internet, that students can use to learn about industries, research competitors,and understand markets.

Legal Issues

Before registering your business you will need to choose your business structure. Depending on the structure you choose, your tax obligations and asset protections vary. Here are the most common business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • Corporations
  • S Corporation

Internet resources can provide a wide-range of information. However, expertise, objectivity, and relevancy are not always apparent. Be cautious when using a search engine to research your topic. The resources below have been hand-picked as credible resources for your research.

Intellectual Property in the United States consists of patents, trademarks, and copyright. These can be valuable to entrepreneurs in a variety of ways such as helping develop and refine a product, providing protection for ideas, developing branding and marketing materials, and surveying competitors' activities.

Patents provide intellectual property protection for 20 years for inventions that are unique, useful, and non-obvious. In return for property rights, the inventor must provide detailed information about the invention in order "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" (U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 8).

Searching for patents can be very helpful in idea generation, surveying the competitive landscape, and finding technical information on an invention. More information patent searching is available in the Patent Research Guide.

Loading ...
Website Feedback | Privacy | Copyright ©