Top 10 Tips for Small Businesses

Below is an important list we’ve created with the Top 10 Tips for those who own, or want to own, a small business. Naturally, we feel that the success of a company includes its preparation for any legal ramification.

First Tip: Create your corporate shield to “shield” you as an individual from liability by creating a corporation or a limited liability company for your business.

Second Tip: Get appropriate business insurance (worker’s compensation, unemployment, business liability, professional liability, health, etc.) and pay taxes.   

Third Tip: Do not misclassify your employees as independent contractors; do an analysis of the type of work, supervision, tools/equipment, control, etc. of your “independent contractors” to ensure they have not been misclassified.

Fourth Tip: Know the employment laws that affect your business, such as Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), worker’s compensation standards and Arizona state laws.

Fifth Tip: Set written employment policies in an employment handbook, consistently follow your own policies, and train your supervisors on how to implement your company policies.

Sixth Tip: Make sure you are promoting your employee benefits to your company’s advantage and do not forget the benefits that you can offer that do not cost you anything.

Seventh Tip: Make sure you have written contracts that lay out the true terms of the contract and avoid “handshake deals,” which can create serious problems for your business if you end up in court.

Eighth Tip: Integrate written social media policies into your workplace, such as prohibiting employees’ use of social media at work, employees posting your company’s confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information, etc.

Ninth Tip: Determine if you need a trademark or service mark for your business. If so, register your trademark or service mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain exclusive nationwide ownership of the trademark and the presumption that the trademark is valid over others.

Tenth Tip: Beware of personal guarantees because if you do sign a personal guarantee, you have to be willing to pay on the debt if the main borrower, whether it’s your business or your child, fails to pay.

At Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PLLC, we have experienced attorneys who can assist you with protecting your business in all of the areas discussed above.

Written by Attorney Lori Brown.

 

The information contained herein is general information not legal advice. E-mailing attorneys from this website does NOT establish an attorney/client relationship.  A formal attorney/client relationship begins after a conflicts check and engagement agreement are signed.

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