Being a business owner is a major accomplishment and a privilege in its own right. At the same time, it’s a massive responsibility and one that carries a lot of weight for the owner that cannot be taken lightly. As a business owner – regardless of the operation’s scale – you bear a tremendous amount of responsibility towards investors, your customer base, as well as your employees.
Not having adequate legal representation is a major misstep, one that can leave you vulnerable to a world of trouble if you’re not careful. This is especially so if you’re unlucky enough to run afoul of some kind of criminal case in which not only is your business implicated, but you personally as the owner. Here are a few concrete reasons why having a suitable lawyer on your side is the best form of protection money can buy.
One reason people hire lawyers is to protect their intellectual property, especially if they have spearheaded the invention of something that has an approved patent attached. More criminality than usual tends to occur around the theft of copyrighted material, and the best way to cover your bases is to ensure that you have a lawyer who can help protect your interests in relation to this very issue. Besides the product you’ve created yourself, other elements of your business practice – such as facets of different designs, the logo, or any trade secrets all have value and must be protected within the legal sphere.
Today’s market is hyper-competitive, and the theft or ripping off of original work is all too common. If you haven’t taken the time to go through the proper channels of registering your trademark, or the patent and copyright, then you might find yourself at the mercy of those who wish to profit from your intellectual property. Without a paper trail, there is little to support your argument that your business is at the forefront of any kind of innovation, which can eventually kill whatever makes your product unique.
One other problem that can occur on the intellectual property front if you’re not careful is a failure to protect your interests once you get involved with a third party. If you get into an agreement with a third-party vendor that requires you to share a certain part of your intellectual property without proper protection, then you may be looking at a situation that will be difficult for you to find any legal recourse from. A business attorney can help you protect the provenance and chain of custody for any of your innovations, so it’s good to have one at your disposal.
Laws regarding employees and their business owners vary from state to state, so you definitely need legal advice from someone who is quite familiar with the lay of the land. As your business becomes more successful and continues to grow, you will want to expand your team and ensure that you are sufficiently staffed to be able to meet the demands of a large clientele.
Of course, such a fundamental change to your business structure requires care and rigorous strategizing, since labor laws are strict in Minnesota, and should not be taken lightly. There are several codes, regulations, compensatory policies, and other issues about which you should be well-informed; engaging the services of one of the top 100 lawyers in Minnesota should offer you plenty of reassurance and reliable legal protection. Obtaining the correct advice will keep you protected from misclassifying employees, inadvertently breaking the law by avoiding compensatory pay, creating an environment that encourages discrimination, or breaking state and federal laws when it comes to unionization. Furthermore, different rules apply to contractors, part-time employees, and full-time salaried employees, and your business owes them various rights and privileges. A lawyer will help ensure that you don’t run afoul of any of these laws.
Managing Real Estate
If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, then there are different regulations you must abide by in terms of how you manage your business’ block of real estate. If you took out a commercial lease agreement, then that is a legally binding document you have made in tandem with the landlord, and that comes with the specific stipulations that you need to abide by. For example, you may decide to break your lease early, well before the term expires. The legal agreement should have the rules spelled out, including the kind of notice you need to give them and the timeframe. Also, there may be easily overlooked terms in the agreement about force majeure, or your responsibilities outlined in the lease that a business attorney can help bring to your attention. In fact, it works far better in your interests to have a lawyer review the document before you sign, to help you fully understand what you’re getting into.
The tax codes for businesses are, of course, different from income taxes, and there are a lot of nuances and gray areas you need to be aware of. It can be hard to make sense of the morass of information without the help of a lawyer. Most businesses get into legal trouble simply due to an inability to understand the kind of taxes they need to pay, how to account for deductions and exemptions, and so on. Also, you need to set up payroll taxes for all your employees and take care of other issues on site. Perhaps there are taxes you need to pay regarding the real estate, and so on, so it makes sense to have a lawyer help you carefully review all the details to ensure mistakes aren’t being made. You will need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help manage your finances, but a business lawyer should definitely work in tandem to help oversee the operations.
Running a business is a complicated affair, even if you have a small storefront that isn’t a massive operation. Both need considerable protection to help ensure that your business grows and expands in a healthy and efficient manner. A good business lawyer will help protect your interests while keeping criminal cases at bay.