Small businesses are usually more at risk of suffering legal challenges and crippling litigation that can severely weaken them or worse, run them down. Most legal headaches can take you by surprise and cripple you ruthlessly. Here are top 5 legal hurdles you need to know about so you can gear up and know how to avoid them.
#1. Dissatisfied customers
Customers who are dissatisfied can file lawsuits against your company, in which they can gather in large consumer groups and file what is called a class action lawsuit and sue your company over faulty products, services or promises. With enough dissatisfied customers, class action lawsuits can do more damage than any individual or corporation and irreparably tarnish your brand’s image.
#2. Not investing in employee satisfaction
This is a common source of legal issues. Employees have numerous privileges and/or rights and backed by labor unions and the like. On the off chance that you fire a member of your staff, cautiously ensure he or she signs the termination documents drafted by a lawyer to make the terms of discharge perfectly clear. Releasing a representative without following proper procedure welcomes legal headaches.
#3. Speaking badly about your competition
Business owners and employees usually can’t resist the temptation to talk trash about their competition. Be cautious about what you say on the web regarding your rivals. It is advisable to seek counsel on how to avoid being sued for libel by your competition.
#4. Not signing a shareholders agreement
Very often, disorder ensues when the time comes to sell the company and divide the shares and a shareholder’s agreement wasn’t signed in the beginning and that omission usually results in rippling litigation.
Hire an attorney to draft a proper legal document that declares how matters will be settled between shareholders if there are any mishaps or happenings like departures or death.
#5. Ignoring copyright laws
There are companies out there who sit on patents for years, patiently waiting for another company to unintentionally infringe on their property then infuse them with patent and copyright lawsuits to get easy money.
To not be a victim to companies like these, train your staff on the how and why to not infringe on anyone else’s property. If you have information that is valuable to your company, you can patent it, copyright it or trademark it to avoid legal chaos.
#6. Not getting a competent corporate attorney
Every emerging business must confront challenges that necessitate the services of a qualified attorney. Challenges like employee negotiations, tax issues, violation of intellectual property rights issues etc all require an experienced corporate lawyer. It might be expensive but it will save you from the legal headaches that are sure to ensue.
These are some of the most common legal issues start-ups and emerging businesses face. Understanding and guarding yourself against them can save you from messy legal battles that can cripple or severely harm your business.