Legal Issues That Every Small Business Should Address
Know and understand the legal issues of your business before you wind up in a bind.
As a small business owner, going through the legalities related to your endeavor may not be your favorite thing. However, like it or not, dealing with the legal aspect of your new business should be at the forefront of your priorities.
From getting your tax obligations in order to setting up trademarks for your brand’s protection, getting on the right side of the law from the beginning of your business venture is crucial.
Here are a few legal issues that every small business should address to avoid getting in any trouble.
One of the most common legal issues that small businesses encounter is licensing. Once you start a business, ensure that you are working according to your government’s specific requirements. Licensing costs differ depending on location so you should consult the local licensing agency and your lawyer to get things sorted.
More and more workplace discrimination lawsuits are emerging nowadays. You should aim to build a workplace environment that does not harbor discriminative behavior or any kind of harassment.
While many of these lawsuits are justified, unfortunately, some of them are groundless. To avoid any issues with discrimination lawsuits, you should have a strong HR department that is capable of handling these situations appropriately.
Employee Hiring and Firing
One of the easiest ways new businesses expose themselves to lawsuits is by a lack of paperwork when it comes to the hiring of employees. You never know how a professional relationship is going to end. Which is why, you need to protect your business and yourself legally by setting out a contract from the get-go.
Your contract should cover things like employee rights, roles, salary, benefits, essential contracts dates, and possible reasons for termination.
State of Organization
Determining the state of your organization is one of the most important legal aspects to keep in mind, especially for tax and legal purposes. Selecting the wrong business entity can have serious consequences, opening you up to liability issues.
You should make sure you choose the appropriate corporate form (LLC, LLP, PLLC, S-Corporation, C-Corporation, et cetera) for your small business.
Trademarks and Copyrights
Many small businesses fail to get their copyrights and trademark issues sorted legally. By getting your trademarks and copyrights in order, not only will you protect the interest of your own business, but you will also avoid infringing on someone else’s intellectual property.
Infringing on someone else’s trademark can land you in some hot water even if done by mistake.
Your small business can face any number of regulatory issues. You need to make sure that your transactions and the products you deal in comply with the state and federal regulatory rules. The best way to make sure where your business falls in terms of regulations is to hire an attorney to avoid future difficulties.
As a small business owner, you should structure your business in a way that minimizes your tax obligations. This, in turn, will decrease what you owe the state, making the complicated job of doing taxes a little easier.
Tax laws are prone to frequent changes. For this reason, it is good practice to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you strategize. Thanks for reading!