Blog

Category Archives: Small Businesses

It’s Time For Your Annual Legal Checkup

2015 Small Business Jones Morrison Legal Checkup2015 is right around the corner and it’s time for you to schedule your annual legal checkup. Many legal problems that clients encounter can be prevented or minimized by meeting with your attorney yearly to review your insurance coverage, business maintenance, estate planning, retirement planning or investments. The costs of legal checkups can more than pay for themselves, whether it is an analysis of your business or personal matters, or both.

Most small and mid-size businesses do not adopt thorough preventative measures via a yearly legal health report with their attorney – despite not typically having in-house counsel.  The inevitable changes in your business can be planned for, whether they are due to economic shifts, growth of the business, regulatory changes or a change in a business owner’s circumstances.

A legal checkup includes a review of the records and practices of your business, including

  • Loan Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Licenses & Permits
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Charter
  • Operating Agreements
  • Individual’s Business Risk
  • Financial & Tax Matters
  • Expansion Plans
  • Possible Litigation Issues
  • Insurance, Liability & Indemnity
  • Real Estate & Property Matters

While larger businesses are more likely to need a more thorough review, sole proprietors are just as likely to come up against legal road blocks and have more difficulties managing them both financially and concurrently with the demands of their business.

Long term planning can also be a tool that helps with the growth of your business, not only by making sure it is healthy, but also by putting in place processes that will benefit future growth and expansion.

For some business owners, a legal checkup may also include an analysis of the personal financial risk and implement measures to protect against a failing business or venture.

Just like a yearly medical checkup from your doctor, a legal checkup will monitor your business, put in place protections, and leave you confident in your business for the coming year.

To speak with one of Jones Morrison’s attorneys about scheduling a meeting regarding your business, estate planning, and retirement plans, or personal asset management call us today at (914) 713.9311.

Common Legal Issues Faced by Small Business Owners – and How to Protect Yourself

 

For entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, owning and operating a small business is an incredibly rewarding experience. However, with these positions also come legal responsibilities that must be kept in mind at all times.

 

Keeping Proper Records

For small businesses, it is imperative that a well-organized system of recordkeeping be instilled, which includes tax records, employment records, any contracts your business may have, etc. Not doing so means you are running the risk of missing out on any future acquisitions because you may not be able to properly present the assets and liabilities of your company. You can also set yourself up for liability of any debts your company has if you do not have the paperwork you need to prove otherwise. Get to know each and every document that is required of your company and be diligent on when and if any need to be renewed and when your bills and taxes need to be paid. Keep these documents well organized and in a safe place.

 

Creating Employment Agreements

Make sure your rights are protected as a small business owner by creating a non-compete agreement contract for your employees. Not doing so means you are running the risk of an employee leaving your company to create a competing company, and also means you will miss out on acquiring any intellectual property from your employees. Create an employee agreement form for all new employees to sign immediately upon employment, and use the same form for any independent contractors your company may hire.

 

Consulting with a Legal Professional

Consulting with a legal professional in regards to any business-related contracts, forms, etc., is often seen as an unnecessary expense by many small business owners, who instead choose to rely on documents found on the Internet. While this may seem like an effective cost-cutting method, in reality it is one that could cost much more in the future. Using information from unreliable sources is very dangerous when it comes to the legalities of your business.  Always consult with a legal professional to make sure your company and its rights are properly protected at all times.

Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to help keep your small business in compliance. Contact us to get started.

 
CONTACT MANAGING PARTNER
Stephen J. Jones
Direct Dial For All Offices
914.713.9311  
Telephone
914.472.2300