Legal New Year's Resolutions for Small Biz Owners

Resolutions aren't just for those who want to read a few more books or lose a few more pounds. Having an idea or two about what your small business can do differently this year can get 2019 off on the right foot.

And while "sell more products" and "make more money" are fine New Year's resolutions to jot down, having a more specific plan of action, especially when it comes to the legal issues your business might face this year is essential. So, here are seven legal resolutions for 2019.

  1. Find a Lawyer You Can Trust: It doesn't matter if you're just getting your small business off the ground, or you've been flying high for a couple decades -- you're bound of have a legal issue or two, and you want to leave those to the experts. Not to mention, the experts might be able to head off those legal issues before they become business issues.
  2. Set up a Proper Business Structure: Structure is everything. And a seemingly small decision like choosing the right legal structure for your small business can mean big differences in tax and legal liability.
  3. Confirm Legal Compliance in Regulated Businesses: Every business is regulated to some degree. But some small businesses -- like those trying to cash in on the legalized marijuana market -- are more highly regulated than others. And keeping track of those regulations and making sure your small biz is in compliance, especially when they can differ at the federal and state level and from state to state, can be a challenge.
  4. Confirm No Labor Law Violations: Wage and hour laws can also differ depending on where you do business, and those laws are subject to change, especially as more states and municipalities raise their minimum wage laws. You'll also want to make sure you're in compliance with any workplace safety statutes and up-to-date on workers compensation insurance payments.
  5. Review Employee Contracts: Speaking of labor, you might want to take another look (or a first one if you haven't already) at your employment contracts, especially for benefits packages and non-disclosure or non-compete agreements.
  6. Review Vendor Contracts: The same goes for any contracts with vendors. Circumstances can change from year to year -- make sure you and your vendors are all on the same page.
  7. Complete an IP Audit: No matter what kind of business you're in, you're going to face some intellectual property issues. Whether you're trying to protect an invention, license someone else's work, or simply trying to lock down a name and image for your brand, make sure your IP house is in order.

As we noted above, legal issues are often best left to the legal experts. Find an expert small biz attorney in your area today.

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