Starting and building a small business or start-up is anything but easy. Because of how complicated and labor-intensive the process can be, some businesses cut corners early on and pay the price later. What are the most common legal mistakes that small businesses make when starting and building their businesses?
5 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make
- Skipping an Attorney: Many partnerships and people starting a business by themselves assume that they don’t need a lawyer in the same way that larger businesses do. Instead of starting out with an attorney, they plan on seeking legal representation in the future. However, that can lead to a great deal of wasted money and resources. Work with a lawyer when structuring your company to ensure you are set up the right way from the start.
- Not Using Terms & Conditions: Whenever you access a website or download an app, you usually see an important legal agreement called the “Terms and Conditions.” This lists out the obligations that everyone accessing the website or purchasing a product agrees to before making a purchase, creating an account or even using the website. If you don’t have a check box before a customer makes a purchase, you could be leaving yourself open to lawsuits.
- Ignoring Business Tax Laws: Is your company subject to sales taxes? When should returns be filed? Are you eligible for quarterly tax payments? Working with a skilled attorney can ensure that you obey all relevant business tax laws and structure your business in a manner that is most beneficial tax-wise.
- Insufficient Documentation: As you hire more employees and grow, there are many legal mistakes that you can experience. Federal law requires every employer to have certain documents on file. If you do not have proper documentation and are caught skirting regulations, you can face serious consequences, including your business being fined or shut down.
- Not Protecting Your Property: Unfortunately, numerous small companies neglect to protect their intellectual property with copyrights, patents or trademarks until they have been stolen. If you fail to protect the name of your business, you will not have much recourse if another competitor in the same industry names themselves the same thing. Intellectual property laws are complex, so it’s vital that you work with a lawyer to protect your ideas and brand.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Avoiding Legal Mistakes
If you are seeking business law assistance in Maryland and unsure of how to proceed, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.