Starting and running a new business will present several legal considerations and challenges that you need to prepare for. Here are four essential legal tips to help get you started on the right foot.
Get Advice Early On
It pays to get advice from a legal professional early on for your business. There is a great deal of legal ins and outs to consider when setting up a business which, unless you studied business law, you will likely be unaware of.
Therefore, it is good to get an attorney on board from the start. They can help you anticipate and circumvent legal issues before they arise. If you are already being sued, then it may already be too late!
There are many different types of business law specialists, such as breach of contract attorneys or public liability solicitors, so finding the right one for your needs can be a daunting task. Get recommendations from other companies or people in your network, and do not be afraid to ask for professional references or testimonials before hiring.
Get it in Writing
It may come as some surprise to know that oral contracts can be legally enforced, the problem is that when the only readily available ‘evidence’ is your word against theirs, it can be nearly impossible to do so.
Therefore, it is incredibly important to get all agreements you make confirmed in writing. A written record will discourage most people from trying to change their minds, back out of an agreement or attempting to spin a different story further down the line.
If problems do arise, however, such as contract disputes, unfulfilled work orders, or a lack of payment for services rendered, then written confirmation of the agreement will do a great portion of the heavy lifting for you if you must take legal action.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Building your company into a recognizable and trusted brand takes a lot of time, effort, and money. So, the last thing you want is for someone else to start using your name, logo or branding and ruining your hard-earned reputation.
Without a patent, copyright, or trademark, you may have limited options if another company does decide to steal your intellectual property. Protecting it in the first place is far easier than fighting unfair usage after the fact.
Consulting with an attorney can help identify intellectual property concerns and address them before problems arise. Helping you to not only protect your own intellectual property but ensuring that you are not infringing on anybody else’s as well.
Protect Your Customers Data
A hot button legal topic that has become increasingly prevalent over the last few years is the issue of customer privacy. Even the biggest, multinational corporations have fallen victim to customer data breaches, and the legal ramifications have been severe.
No matter the size and scope of your business, you have a legal obligation to protect information collected from customers and employees.
Make sure that you have up to date antivirus software and security measures installed on all devices you will use to collect or store customer information and be sure to back this data up in storage that is away from your place of business. In the event of a catastrophic system failure, you may need to restore your databases.