Protecting your business from legal fallout isn’t always at the forefront of your mind when you are focussing your efforts on growing your small business. There are plenty of other areas (tax, super, business, intrapersonal, and marketing) that your focus is probably on.
However, it is a necessary preventative measure to take. You can take the following simple steps so that you are protected from potential legal issues:
- Use written agreements: Don’t rely on oral agreements between parties alone, confirm what is said in writing. This applies to any new relationship you establish as a business. This also ensures that all terms are clearly understood as there is less scope for misunderstanding.
- Keep up-to-date paperwork: Having updated documentation and record-keeping whenever changes are made is integral. Maintaining paperwork is important for taxation and auditing purposes.
- Do your research: Having a basic grasp of legalities associated with your business will be beneficial. Although there may be other industry-specific ones, general areas to build some legal knowledge include intellectual property, finances, employment and labour, marketing and advertising.
- Register intellectual property: Protecting your intellectual property is vital. You need to protect your creative ideas and designs by registering trademarks and copyrights where possible.
- Obtain professional legal advice: Legalities can be complicated and it is important to seek advice to clear any doubts you may have. You could opt for a one-time consultation or continued representation – depending on what your business needs.