When you start a new business, it is essential to find ways to minimize risks as much as possible. There are numerous liabilities that can be anticipated, but there are also many unforeseen risks that appear to come out of thin air.
The following are three of the most common legal risks a business owner should avoid in order to safeguard the best interests and future of your business:
- Reliance on verbal promises. Many new business owners make the mistake of relying on oral agreements or promises that are made when the company is first getting started. This often occurs when the business owner is dealing with somebody they know or think they can trust and a “handshake” deal is made. When things don’t go as planned, it is extremely difficult to prove an oral agreement existed. Thus, it is critical that all of your business agreements are put into writing.
- Intellectual property infringement. A business’s intangible assets can be very valuable. If you have a unique idea for your company, you should take measures to protect it. Relying on an Internet search to verify nobody else is using the same idea is very risky. A qualified business attorney can conduct a thorough search for an existing trademark, patent, or copyright protecting another party’s rights in the same idea. This can save you from expending time, money and effort only to be served with a Cease and Desist notice.
- Unfair competition. It can be tempting to want to hire your competitor’s main employees, but before you do, you should educate yourself regarding the applicable unfair competition laws. Hiring a new employee that brings customers, clients, or other types of valuable information from their prior employer will likely result in a lawsuit against you.
The above are a few examples of common issues new businesses face. To discuss these or other legal pitfalls to avoid, contact our office to schedule an appointment. The attorneys at The Swenson Law Firm provide a variety of business law services to entities of all sizes.