As an entrepreneur, growing your company successfully is likely your number one priority. You likely took strategic risks and made sacrifices to establish your business, so why risk your business by neglecting to establish a solid legal foundation? Keeping your business protected is vital to ensure future success and uninterrupted growth.
Let us discuss some business-related legal formalities you need to take care of in the early stages of your business:
1. Choosing the right business structure. The legal structure of your business has major tax and personal liability implications. Whether it will be a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Corporation. The legal structure of your company decides how much tax your business will incur, the number of documents you must file, the liability you are personally responsible for, as well as whether or not you can raise capital.
In choosing the right legal structure for your company, you need to be aware of local, state and federal laws.
2. Defining the roles and responsibilities of shareholders and co-founders. The responsibilities of co-founders and shareholders need to be well defined early in the articles of association and founders agreement prior to starting your business operations. Defining these roles and duties makes sure everyone knows their position in the company, how much they will earn in salary, how much equity they have in the business and what could be the consequences if they underperform.
By clearly defining everything related to shareholders and co-founders early on, your team has clear guidelines on how to settle disagreements between founders and shareholders, should they arise.
3. Protecting intellectual property and trade secrets. Intellectual property includes marketing material, products, logos, website, business plan, branding, trademarks, patents, etc. A founders’ agreement protects the intellectual property of a business by legally registering them in the name of the company.
This is an ongoing process as new ideas and products should also be registered under the company. The rights to sell intellectual property should remain with the company, and your founders’ agreement will clearly state who in the company has the right to sell it.
4. Protecting the employer/employee relationship. An employee is bound to perform his duties in a company in return for certain facilities and remuneration. US law gives certain rights to the employee and the employer that they can practice when the need arises. However, the mutual employment agreement covers a few factors like selection and engagement of employee, salary paid to the employee, dismissal powers, employee’s conduct, etc.
There are many other circumstances that your company needs protection from, such as discrimination or harassment claims and immigration audits. Ensuring legal protection for the company makes sure you run your business functions and operations smoothly.
How the Council for Supply Diversity Helps You
Your Council Services Include Free Access to Our Small Business General Legal Counsel Services. Obtain general legal information on the most common legal issues that affect small business operations. Access to our local general counsel is provided on a scheduled basis through the Council for Supplier Diversity office.
General Counsel will provide you with FREE general information on issues that do not require litigation or appearance before a court or administrative body. In the event your legal matter requires more than general information on legal issues such as litigation involving the filing of court documents, litigation response or answer to any litigation matter, we can provide you with contact information of diverse attorneys who may be able to handle your legal matter at a discounted rate.
Matters we cover are :
- Labor Laws and Regulations
- Copyright, Patents and Trademarks
- Worker’s Compensation
- Insurance Coverage Issues
- Contract Negotiation
- Buying and Selling a Business
- Business Entity Structure
- Debt Collection
- Employee Handbook Preparation
- Lawsuits and Liability
- And More…
Visit our website, email, or call us to schedule an appointment.