Common legal issues that small business owners face

Running a successful business requires more than a vision; it requires hard work and daily attention to detail. Solid business owners are usually adept at managing the many small fires that can arise from disgruntled clients or internal employee relations. However, some problems can have significant legal implications that call for the guidance of a business law attorney.

Proactively protecting your business through mitigating risk in contracts and business plans can help to avoid future litigation. While no blog post could cover the vast array of issues that business owners face, a few common concerns that can turn into disruptive and contested business litigation include:

  • Protecting personal assets: Choosing a business entity includes more than deciding how taxes will be addressed. For instance, creating a corporation, a limited liability partnership (LLP), or a limited liability company (LLC) can help to shield personal assets from business creditors. Adherence to the formalities in creating a business entity is important. A seasoned business law attorney can help you to understand the differences of each type of organization and which type may best serve your goals.
  • Drafting contracts: Well-negotiated and clearly drafted contracts are the backbone of a strong business strategy. Setting clear expectations and defining the rights and obligations of the deal can help to avoid future disputes. Unfortunately, many deals are completed on a handshake, or with a quickly drafted contract that can later serve as the source of dispute.
  • Addressing employment and labor issues: As businesses grow, employees can be a source of friction in the organization. Regulations governing employee relations, discrimination in the workplace and labor union law are complex. Complying with the various laws is essential. Wage and hour laws frequently change. Misclassifying a worker can be costly. Strong policies, internal communications and emails cannot be overlooked in protecting the future of a company in employment and labor law matters.
  • Resolving internal disputes: Partnership, shareholder and other business-owner disputes can quickly derail ongoing operations. Internal business dynamics may change over time. Partners may have differing views over policy or the future direction of the business. Business plans often spell out how disputes should be handled, as well as the rights and obligations in dissolving an entity – however, many businesses grow beyond the scope of the documentation. Resolving internal disputes often requires the strategic guidance of an experienced lawyer.

Make no mistake; the goal of any contract is to reduce the risk of costly litigation. However, at some point, any business can face a lawsuit – whether the dispute is internal or external. Disagreements can be costly. Whether you are forming a company or facing a dispute, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer – one who understands your business – when disputes arise to obtain the best results as efficiently as possible.

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