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Six Silly Legal Mistakes Small Business Owners Can’t Afford to Make
However, what happens when an unexpected legal snafu strikes?
While growing a business is obviously the top priority of most entrepreneurs, the fact that remains with red tape comes with the territory of scaling your company. For starters, consider how bigger businesses have to exponentially deal with more...
- Money: which makes for complications in regard to taxes and structure
- People: whether dealing with employees or clients, sooner or later somebody will bring up a legal issue with your business (even if it's something miniscule)
- Competition: when you become a bigger fish in your pond, expect some sharks to arise and challenge your company
Plain and simple, legal issues are not something you want to mess around with as a small business owner. Therefore, equip yourself with the knowledge to deal with these six silly mistakes when they inevitably arise.
They Ignore Their Business' Structure
First and foremost, your business' legal structure is simply too important to ignore in regard to how you're taxed and treated if legal action is taken against you. Whether you decide to set up your business as an LLC, s-corp or sole proprietorship, it's crucial that you take the time to understand how your business' setup impacts your assets.
They Don't Pay Attention to Contracts
Having client contracts in writing could be the difference between long-term business and never seeing your hard-earned money again. Contracts ensure accountability from all parties in your business dealings; likewise, legally binding contracts help you avoid needless loopholes that hurt your bottom line.
They Don't Think Twice About Taxes
Many new entrepreneurs assume that they can write everything off their taxes as a small business owner. While SMBs are afforded many deductions, it's not as simple as it seems at a glance. Given the complicated nature of business taxes, trying to handle your tax woes yourself is often an unnecessary financial headache.
They Fail to Take Complaints and Concerns Seriously
It's easy to sweep complaints from clients and customers under the rug until someone decides to take legal action against you. If someone is threatening to sue you, speak to a lawyer immediately versus assuming that they're just blowing off steam.
They Don't Care About Copyright
In the era of web-based businesses, it's natural to assume any given photo or asset online is fair game. However, ignoring copyright law can land you in hot water and result in unnecessary fines if you're not careful. When it doubt, rely on royalty free images and snapshots you take yourself, for example, instead of picking off assets from other sites and passing them off as your own.
They Don't Have a Lawyer on Deck
Entrepreneurs are often go-getters who want to take on the world themselves, but can you really afford to play the role of lawyer? Rather than gamble with your business' entire future, get in touch with a trustworthy legal representative to keep your company safe from nightmare “what-if” scenarios.
Sure, there are millions of moving pieces to running a small business. That being said, don't ignore the legal piece of the puzzle: keep yourself in check in regard to legal matters and make sure you have a representative handle any potential concerns.