25 Aug Five Questions Business Owners Should Ask a Lawyer
When it comes to the legalities of running a business, it is always better to be proactive than reactive. Addressing and resolving issues before they become vulnerabilities can prevent a company from losing significant time and money. Instead of taking time away from the business to focus on the legal aspect of entrepreneurship, consider speaking with an experienced business attorney regarding the following areas.
Where Do My Legal Vulnerabilities Lie?
Simply operating a business carries a legal risk, but most business owners do not have a background in law. Too often this lack of knowledge opens the door to potential lawsuits that could damage the future of the company. By identifying where the risk lies, the business owner can implement procedures to ensure all requirements are met.
What Distinguishes Personal and Business Assets?
A common dilemma business owners face is distinguishing personal from business assets. For example, entrepreneurs frequently use their personal cell phone or vehicle for work, which can lead to easy mistakes that will upset the IRS. Regardless of whether or not the miscategorization of assets was intentional, it can lead to negative consequences. Asking a business attorney to clarify what stipulates an asset as personal or business can prevent future, unwanted complications.
How Can I Create an Attractive Work Environment?
Employees are the core of every business. Keeping them happy can be highly rewarding, as satisfied workers are more likely to be more productive and loyal. One way to build an attractive work environment is to instill a strong company culture, which can promote a positive atmosphere. This starts with a structured hiring process to ensure incoming employees will have the right attitude and skills to complement the company culture. It also helps to create a structured onboarding process and an employee handbook to reinforce corporate values.
How Can I Maintain Compliance?
There are federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations that govern the actions of nearly every business and industry. Remaining up-to-date with the ever-changing policies can be a full-time job. For a small business without a human resources department, this can be quite challenging. To avoid violating compliance, which can lead to fines and penalties, ask a qualified attorney to review the business to uncover any potentially unknown compliance issues.
How Can I Protect My Intellectual Property (IP)?
Every business has some form of intellectual property (IP), from the name and logo to proprietary technology and services. While complex, protecting the physical and intellectual assets of your business is worth the investment. Working with an IP lawyer can help identify which assets should be protected and how to do it.
An entrepreneur has to perform a wide range of responsibilities, which makes it difficult to learn every law to ensure the business operates smoothly. An attorney specializing in business law can provide invaluable insight into how to minimize potential legal issues before they arise.