Vital Legal Tips For Small Business Owners
By Business Desk
Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
Small business owners have a lot on their plates, and sometimes, the law is the last thing on their minds. Among staffing, product design, sales and marketing, protecting their company can become more of a side note.
But this is a mistake that should not be made, under any circumstances. Because businesses are very complex operations, there are many angles from which you can be hit with legal action. Your business plan could be brilliant, but if it doesn’t comply with the law, it’s moot.
Here are some vital tips to ensure that you are on the right side of the federal government.
1. Set aside a legal budget
Money makes the world go round, and it keeps your business afloat. This in mind, it would be wise to set aside some sort of legal budget - no matter how you do it. This will help you prepare for any unexpected legal surprises that may come your way.
Because, as a small business, you might not have the resources to fight a sudden lawsuit or conviction. Your best course of action is to prepare for it in advance, and that means setting aside some cash. Put away more than you need, too - it’s always best to prepare for the worst.
2. Make sure you’re defended
As a business, you’re a much bigger target than your average citizen. This can leave you open to legal action from all kinds of angles, and not all will be easy to predict.
And, this means that your very business could be on the line. Whether you’re falsely accused of a simple crime or you actually did something wrong, it’ll be much harder for you to defend yourself. You could seek the help of a federal defense attorney to prevent any worries in this situation, using that legal budget to cover any costs.
3. Protect your intellectual property
If you don’t, other people and companies can steal it, use it and make money off it. Until you register a trademark or take another similar course of action, your IP is in the public domain! There are trademark lawyers that can help you out, or you can do it yourself. Either way, make sure your assets are covered.
These assets range from logos to products you’ve designed to even your company name. If it belongs to you, if you designed it, it needs protecting. Act quickly to prevent theft!
4. Don’t use assets that belong to other companies or people
A simple one really, but something that so many companies overlook. Every time you Google search for an image, a video or a song, very rarely will that song be yours to use. In fact, those assets belong to other people and companies, and without permission, you can’t touch them.
Of course, you can ask for permission or get permission, but this is a tricky process. It’s far better to simply leave these assets alone. Instead, utilize free audio, video and image samples that are in the public domain. This way, you aren’t open to legal action of any kind. It’s fair use!