If you are thinking about launching a new business, you need to have the right legal foundation in place or you could encounter costly consequences down the road. Here are five important legal tips for new entrepreneurs:
1. Find a legal adviser. The best time to get a business lawyer is when you’re just starting out, before you’ve invested money and made costly mistakes that can jeopardize everything. Your business lawyer can advise you on the best entity for your new business that can help save you on taxes and help you manage risk. Developing the right legal relationship now can save you time and money.
2. Create a legal plan. Having a legal plan for your business from the start will help you navigate issues that may be cause for concern for your company in the future. You can address things like business succession, buy-sell agreements, asset protection and intellectual property protection before they become an issue.
3. Put everything in writing. Entrepreneurs that don’t make written agreements with partners, employees, vendors and customers are painting a bulls eye on themselves for a business dispute – one in which they are unlikely to prevail without a written agreement. Litigation costs much more than prevention.
4. Protect your Intellectual Property. If it matters to your business, it’s worth protecting with a patent, trademark or copyright. Then follow up by using a trademark monitoring service to see if anyone is infringing on your brands.
5. Pay attention to employment law. Federal and state laws govern the employer-employee relationship and there are plenty of traps for the unwary, like if you classify an employee as a contractor. Your legal adviser can help you stay out of trouble.
If you are interested in learning more about business asset protection strategies, call us today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit. Normally, this session is $1,250, but if you mention this article and we still have room on our calendar this month, we will waive that fee.
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