Are you thinking about launching a new business this year? 

If so, you need to set the right legal foundation or risk costly consequences down the road.  Here are five essential legal tips for entrepreneurs:

1.  Find a business lawyer.  The best time to have a business attorney is when you’re just starting out.  He or she can advise you on the best entity for your new business that can help save you on taxes and help you manage risk.  Developing the right legal relationship now can save you time and money.

2.  Create a legal plan.  Having a business legal plan at the outset will answer questions that may cause concern for your company in the future.  Address issues like buy-sell agreements, asset protection, business succession  and intellectual property protection BEFORE it becomes an issue – and by then, it may be too late.

3.  Protect everythingIf it matters to your business, it’s worth protecting with a trademark or copyright. Consider using a trademark monitoring service to see if anyone is infringing on your brands.

4.  Put everything in writing.  Entrepreneurs that are lax in executing written agreements with business partners, employees, independent contractors, vendors and customers are laying a firm foundation for a business dispute – one in which may be difficult to prevail without a written agreement.

5.  Pay attention to employment law.  Federal and state laws govern the employer-employee relationship and you could run afoul of these if you classify an employee as a contractor.  Your legal adviser can help you stay out of trouble with the IRS.

If you are interested in learning more about business asset protection strategies, call Jill Gregory, your Family Business Lawyer, today to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit.

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