1. Switch From Sole Proprietorship to Corporation
Small business owners often establish their businesses as sole proprietorships. This often seems straightforward and saves some time in research and paperwork during those first hectic months of setting up the business. However, if the business fails and goes bankrupt or the company gets sued, the owner’s home, automobiles, and other assets could be at risk. Taking the extra steps necessary to incorporate your business as a C and S Corporation or a Limited Liability Company ensures that your personal property won’t be targeted by legal actions, such as bankruptcy and legal actions.
2. Invest in Business Insurance Policies
You may already be familiar with general liability insurance and property insurance, and, hopefully, you already have these policies in place. However, there are several other policies you should consider. A business owner’s policy offers a bundle of protective policies, such as business interruption, liability, crime, and property insurance. Check into errors and omissions insurance that protects against claims of improperly rendering services or claims of inadequate work.
3. Write Protection Into Every Contract
Sometimes, business partners or suppliers fail to deliver on time or with the quality you expect. For example, a major storm that hits between you and the supplier of wood parts you require for the handmade woodcrafts you sell online could make it impossible for you to fulfill your own orders on time. Protect yourself and your business with a legal contract that specifically states you aren’t liable for incomplete work due to acts of nature and other controllable factors.
One of the best ways to ensure you have the legal protection you need is to work closely with an attorney. Leaders in business law, such as attorneys from Tully Rinckey Law, may help you with contracts, compliance with local and global laws, appropriate insurance coverage, and even tax laws.
4. Trademark, Patent, and Monitor Your Content
Imagine setting up your business with a name, brand, and motto created from your family name, a symbolic figure, and hours of work bringing all the components together in a memorable logo. Then, imagine that someone else uses your hard work to label their own business. If you don’t have the right legal paperwork and protection, your name could lead another business owner’s success story.
Protect your online content locally and globally, monitor your names and logos online, and pay attention to how your content is used. Tully Rinckey and his international legal team emphasize the need for protecting your rights from infringement. Work with intellectual property law attorneys who help businesses get the patents, trademarks, and copyrights necessary for success in a technological and global economy.
5. Learn What You Can About Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest is a situation in which you are faced with competing loyalties or interests. For example, it isn’t unusual for business leaders to play active roles in their communities. If you sit on a school board or a city council, you could vote to pass a specific ordinance that in some way benefits your business. This situation is a “conflict of interest.” This is because there’s a question regarding whether you were acting in the best interest of your community or your business.
Starting up your own business requires a lot of time and financial investment. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business legally.