Entrepreneurs are so passionate about starting their business and getting things off the ground as quickly as possible that they may often overlook some important aspects that could affect the very future of their business. Even the most well-intentioned businesses and startups may find themselves making legal mistakes unintentionally.
What “Type” of Business are You?
One of the most common mistakes is choosing the wrong kind of organization. For example, many sole proprietors do not realize that there is no separation between the business and their own personal assets. This means that all your personal assets would be on the line in case your business was to be sued for any reason. It is important to understand all the different types of business entity options available to you in your state, including advantages and disadvantages of each one, before you are able to decide which entity will work best for you. Some entities will offer a higher level of asset protection than others, and a skilled Clarksville estate planning attorney can help you make the right choice depending on the size of your business and on factors, such as whether you have employees or whether you plan on buying any real estate that will be used for commercial purposes.
Do You Have a Logo or a Trademark?
Another common mistake that can generate a lot of undue stress is failing to register or trademark your brand and logo. This can often lead to disputes, such as somebody else stealing the brand that you took so long to build or claiming that you stole it from them. Startups spend thousands of dollars developing their brands, and they need to protect it with the proper copyrights and trademarks. Doing so can prevent future headaches and save you potentially thousands of dollars in legal fees. No matter if you are a larger corporation or a one man show, failing to trademark your brand can be a serious mistake which can be avoided.
How Do You Handle Vendors?
Many business owners find themselves facing a dispute due to the lack of a proper agreement with an external vendor. Without a proper written contract, any contractual disputes or breaches are very hard to pursue in court. For that reason, making sure that you always have a written, signed contract when dealing with an outside vendor is important to avoid undue stress. Your business attorney can help you make sure your vendor agreements are properly written. The same goes for employment agreements—improperly written employee agreements are usually the grounds for many labor and employment disputes.
Should You Really Do it All Yourself?
Finally, another common mistake is trying to wear too many hats and attempting to do it all by yourself. While the DIY spirit may be helpful in other areas of your business, it is wise to consult with an experienced professional to ensure you are making the right choices for your business and to avoid any potentially costly oversights that may lead to expensive lawsuits and threaten the very existence of your startup. Don’t wait until a potentially disastrous legal issue arises to contact a business attorney. At Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC, our attorneys are skilled in every aspect of business formation and set up related to starting a business. We are here to provide support for your business.