Government regulations and tax compliance are some of the problems that small businesses face when it comes to legal issues.
Small businesses can face legal issues from customers, from competitors, and others. That’s why small businesses need to be prepared to have a legal advisor on staff to help them avoid these issues.
As your business develops as it grows with more employees, you will eventually need to have human resources and employee compliance. There will always be more legal issues, which means you should consider hiring a small business lawyer.
If you want to prepare your business for legal situations, then you should be aware of these 5 most legal situations that could disrupt your small business.
1. Tax Issues
Committing tax fraud by accident is still a crime and can get you in a serious legal issue, and may land you in jail.
That’s why a tax lawyer is important for your small business. You may need a tax lawyer to help you figure out what you owe quarterly. Your tax lawyer can also help you file correctly.
2. Business Structure Issues
Your tax lawyer or another kind of lawyer can also help your business decide what kind of business you are operating.
Will you be an LLC? A corporation? Multi-Owner Business? Single-owner business?
A lawyer can help you answer these questions and help you avoid any legal issues with your business. Limited liability also protects your personal assets. In other words, your personal and business taxes are separate.
Figuring out what kind of small business you have and how many employees work at your business can help you figure out the structure.
If you know you need a business structure and you need a lawyer for handles these issues but are unsure of when to hire a lawyer, you can check out our blog post that can help.
3. Business Contracts
Another legal issue that your small business may encounter is business contracts. Working with clients, depending on what kind of small business you have, will require you to have contracts in place.
Contracts protect you and the client. It protects you from getting sued, from false advertising, and from other implications.
It’s a good idea to have a small business lawyer to review the legality of these contracts. You want to ensure that there are no loopholes and your business is protected from getting sued, especially if the client is unhappy with your service.
Aside from client contracts, you should also have a lawyer for business contracts around your building. You want to understand the contract if you’re leasing a building.
Lastly, you should have a lawyer look over contracts if you are selling or buying a business. You want to see the tax burdens and what legally belongs to you when you purchase a business.
Contracts are a major part of a business because they create a structure of security around it. They help protect your business from clients, from employees, and from what you legally own.
4. Employee Issues
With any business comes employee legal issues. There are labor laws you need to be aware of. You don’t want an employee suing you because you neglected to give them 10-minute breaks. You may also want to have non-compete and non-disparagement agreements in place with employees. This prevents from departing employees from directly competing against you and/or disparaging your business online or on social media.
A lawyer can help you draft an employee handbook that ensures the workers are safe. An employee handbook will have workplace harassment and sexual harassment protections in place.
You should also consult an attorney if you plan on terminating an employee because while Georgia is an employment-at-will state, there are potential issues surrounding unemployment claims that you may wish to explore before you terminate an employee.
It’s important that your lawyer understands the constantly changing laws around employee and employer relations in order to avoid conflict.
5. Online Issues
With a lot of businesses having a website or having their entire operation online, it’s more important that you have a lawyer who understands the legality of operating a business online.
A lawyer can help navigate privacy and property issues. For instance, you don’t want to take images or videos from other websites and slapstick them on your website. You have to buy it or sometimes mention the original source.
Other online issues you might encounter are advertising issues. You have to understand what you’re promising in your advertisements, making sure that you aren’t false advertising.
Finally, you should be aware of how you collect and send emails. With email marketing prevalent than ever, it’s important that you understand how to collect emails and what you can send in your emails.
For instance, as a business, you cannot buy emails. It’s against the law to buy emails and send emails to people who didn’t originally subscribe to your campaign.
A lawyer can tell you how to gather emails or what kind of emails you can send, can also help avoid online legal issues. These kinds of lawyers can also tell you what kind of data you can collect and what’s against the law.
Overall, these 5 legal issues that can present a harmful situation to your business is why you need a lawyer for your small business. It’s better to be prepared for legal issues than face serious and detrimental consequences you are unprepared for.
Why You Need a Small Business Lawyer
You need a small business lawyer to help you navigate legal issues. You need a lawyer that is going to help you understand the legal complexity of creating a small business and how it works with your clients and your employees.
When you create a business, you aren’t just selling a product, you are protecting your product. You are protecting your business, which requires a proactive approach to finding legal counsel. Ultimately, for your business to thrive and succeed, you have to be prepared for legal speed bumps that are best handled by a small business lawyer.
For more information on legal challenges facing small business owners, you can contact us here.