Small businesses are especially vulnerable to legal issues. Even a minor legal issue can affect a small business significantly. Startups must constantly analyze their internal and external environments to reduce the chances of being involved in legal issues and, therefore, limit liabilities. Our Seattle business law attorneys have put together the most common types of legal issues that small businesses face.
If your business is facing legal issues, contact our Seattle business law attorneys today at (206) 565-0090 to schedule a case review!
#1: Intellectual Property Issues
Whether your company is developing new technology, product, or design, it’s important to protect that intellectual property that gives your business a competitive edge. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail to take the right steps to protect their intellectual property, making their company vulnerable. Many companies fail within the first five years because another company steals their ideas. For such reasons, it’s important to obtain patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, or more.
#2: Partner Disputes
Another common legal issue that small businesses often face is partner disputes. When partners start a business, they should create a legal document that clearly states the roles and responsibilities of each partner. When partners fail to do this, it can result in serious legal issues. Facebook was one of the many companies that dealt with partnership disputes--costing it billions of dollars in liabilities. Business partners should create a written founder agreement that addresses what their salaries are, how the equity will be split among founders, each founder’s percentage ownership in the company, etc.
#3: Trademark Issues
Another common mistake that small businesses make is failing to choose a business name without trademark issues. It’s important to research the company name you want for your business to avoid trademark infringement or domain name issues. Failing to take the appropriate steps can impact your business’ reputation.
#4: Not Having Legal Counsel
As we mentioned above, small businesses are extremely vulnerable to legal issues. The best way to protect your business is by having a strong attorney on your side. An attorney can review major company decisions to ensure that they won’t result in litigation. They can also help you review contracts and other legal documents your company will engage in.
#5: Failing to Develop Valid Contracts
Nearly every business will need to develop a contract. Whether it’s to establish employee, supplier, or consumer relationships. Contracts can protect your business in case the other party breaches your contract, but failing to develop a valid contract or not having an attorney review a contract before you sign can significantly affect a business.
#6: Not Obtaining Licensing
Depending on the type of business you operate, you might need permits, licenses, or registrations, depending on the nature of your business. For example, if your business handles food or if you want to get commercial real estate, you might need certain permits or licenses to do so. It’s best to speak to an attorney to ensure that you have the legal documents you need to operate your business.
Seattle Business Law Attorneys
If your small business is facing legal challenges or if you want to prevent legal issues, our team at Northwest Business Law LLC is here to help you. We have been assisting businesses throughout Washington limit liabilities and protect their assets. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to help you obtain the best possible results for your case. When you need to protect your company, the business law attorney at Northwest Business Law LLC can help you create a creative strategy customized to meet your company’s needs.
Contact our Seattle business law attorneys today at (206) 565-0090 to schedule a case review!