As a young entrepreneur starting a business you need to make smart choices and decisions which can affect your customers and revenue. Things can pop up out of the blue that you may not have even thought of until that moment. If something unexpected happens do you have an emergency plan in place to deal with it? If not you need to make Small Business Legal Check List and have some legal backup to make sure you stay within the guidelines and don’t get yourself in hot water. You need to have an attorney ready to give you the best advice and back you whenever you need them. If you need help don’t hesitate to call.
If you are just starting your business have you decided whether or not to be a sole proprietorship or a partnership? The laws vary a little from state to state so you will want to know the benefits and potential drawbacks of each one. Each one has its own unique pros and cons. Partnerships make you liable for another person’s mistakes, while sole proprietorships may put your assets at risk to cover your debt in case of a default. The best way to make an informed decision is to speak with an attorney. He can provide you with expert advice on your choices and which one will benefit you the most in your situation.
If you will be employing others in your company you will need to collect their tax information for reporting to the IRS. Dealing with the IRS is tricky business, you have to have all your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed or you could be in big trouble. This is not an area of business where you want to just “wing it.” Employment laws are strict about documentation and reporting tax information. You can visit the IRS website to learn more about tax laws. Besides taxes, you also have to be in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by determining and documenting “exempt” and “nonexempt” employees. Contact your law firm if you have questions about these laws.
Another topic you need to have covered if you will have employees is insurance. This is business insurance, not health insurance. This covers you in the event anyone is injured on your property or while in your employ. There are different types of liability insurance for your business that addresses different areas such as general, professional, and product liability, as well as commercial property business insurance. Your law firm can help you review each policy to make sure you understand the fine print before you sign anything.
You need to be careful when making any deals or entering into contracts with other businesses. Most often, the problem faced by attorneys is that the customer has already signed the contract which makes their job harder to do. It is better to take a few minutes and have them look over any contracts before you sign them to avoid getting yourself into sticky situations in the first place.
Intellectual Property Rights
Another area that few business owners consider is their intellectual property rights. The best way to protect your creations from being stolen is by making sure to enforce compliance with intellectual property (IP) law. Copyright laws protect the works of artists whether it is drawings, photographs, paintings, designs, or written text.
Patents protect inventions and ideas from being copied and used without permission or compensation to the owner. Both trademarks and patents require documentation and registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Offices.
Trademarks protect a name, design, or words and phrases used to identify your business and its products. For example, the golden arches are a trademark symbol for McDonald’s. Catch Phrases can also be a trademark such as “Chevy’s “Like a Rock”, and Wendy’s old “Where’s the Beef” slogan.
Call Your Law Firm Attorney or Visit the USPTO website for more information.