Starting a small business is both a stressful and exciting time for entrepreneurs, especially in 2021. However, because there is so much to consider when establishing a business, it is not surprising when owners forget about the legal basics. The choices made in the early days of starting a small business are perhaps the most critical to avoid legal issues in the future. Read below to learn about three basic things every small business owner should know and how the Dallas law firm of Ritter Spencer PLLC can advise business owners on getting started.
1. Choose the Best Business Structure
Choosing a business structure that best suits a new company can affect every aspect of how the business is run. From taxes to business assets, a business structure influences nearly all operations and legal protections. The wrong business structure can leave business owners vulnerable to liabilities, disputes, and even bankruptcy. Understanding business formation options is a vital step in establishing a lucrative and successful small company. The ideal business structure can limit the risks associated with running a business and protect the company against future legal challenges. Consulting knowledgeable business and corporate attorneys can help business owners choose the correct entity for their business formation.
2. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Eye-catching branding and unique inventions can lead to increased profits and eventually become part of a small business’s identity. When a company clearly establishes its brand and identity, consumers recognize and are more willing to trust the company. However, failing to protect a business’s intellectual property may result in dire financial consequences.
To stand out in a crowded market and defend itself from competitors, a business needs to ensure that its intellectual property assets are legally protected. Taking the time to register a copyright or trademark gives a company legal power to protect its intellectual property if any entity infringes upon the asset or brand. The process of applying for and registering a trademark or copyright might be confusing, especially if this is an unfamiliar process. An intellectual property lawyer can guide business owners through the application and registration process and help a business if trademark or copyright infringement has occurred.
3. Polish Any Contracts
There is a wide range of reasons as to why companies need thorough contracts. Contracts not only support businesses, but they protect employees, owners, and assets. Breaches of contract are among the most common types of commercial disputes, and they are often due to ambiguous contracts. Ambiguous agreements, such as standard internet contracts, might be easier and cheaper to obtain than lengthy, well-drafted contracts, but they incur considerable risks that should not be overlooked. When a contract is vague, it may fail to protect a business, become problematic when a dispute arises, and/or be unenforceable. An experienced business lawyer should always review contracts to ensure they are clear, specific, and defend a company’s interests.
Part of running a small business is being attentive to the basics and noting the most minute details to ensure that the business is successful. An experienced business attorney can help entrepreneurs navigate the numerous challenges that can arise when starting a company. The Dallas law firm of Ritter Spencer PLLC works with businesses of all sizes, and our team of attorneys is experienced in many practice areas, including business and corporate law, trademark and copyright law, commercial litigation, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help small business owners start strong.