Stephen Kaplan, P.C.

Dallas Business Law Blog

5 ways you can help protect your company's trade secrets

Trade secrets are invaluable to your company's success. Unfortunately, this value also makes them attractive to thieves. Once your trade secrets have fallen into the hands of your competitors, they are all but worthless.

Although theft is a constant threat, there are some key steps you can take to help ensure the protection of your trade secrets.

Why LLCs need written operating agreements

During the start-up business process, a written operating agreement is a necessity for a limited liability company (LLC). This document provides detailed plans regarding ownership and the duties of its members, who are the business owners. In addition, an operating agreement ensures that an LLC conducts itself in an appropriate manner while protecting the personal liability of a business.

But some LLCs question the benefits of an operating agreement. From the onset, start-up companies seek to minimize expenses in whatever way possible, and some new business owners even skip the critical step of creating an operating agreement. This is not a good idea.

Who will take over my business?

It can be exciting to own your own business. Once your company is up and running, you have the feeling of limitless opportunity.

An essential part of owning a business is deciding who will take over when you retire or pass on. Life can be unpredictable, so it is never too early to think about a succession plan for your business.

Can a pandemic put business trade secrets at risk?

As a business owner, the assets you need to protect reach far beyond your cash flow. Your intellect is the foundation for your concept; your trade secrets make your business model unique.

If authorities do not consider your employees essential, you likely wonder how you will handle potential layoffs. You would be wise to think about how you can protect your trade secrets as well.

Will litigation lead to my trade secrets being revealed?

One crucial characteristic of any trade secret is that it remains secret. It is right there in the name. In fact, the owner of this type of valuable information must take "reasonable measures" to ensure it remains classified - otherwise the law may not consider it a trade secret.

So what happens during trade secret litigation, a process that plays out in the courts? Might someone be forced to reveal their prized trade secrets?

Take control of your company's cybersecurity

Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly bolder and more sophisticated in finding ways to infiltrate computer systems for public agencies and private businesses. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said recently that state agencies detected 10,000 attempted attacks per minute from Iran over two days in early January.

Despite these attempts to access government information and infrastructure, a key to the survival of any business depends upon its ability to safeguard sensitive information for customers, such as personal and financial records. As a result, most are stepping up their efforts to increase cybersecurity measures.

Estate planning advice for small business owners

It doesn't matter if you're wealthy or only live a modest life; estate planning is for everybody.

Estate planning for business owners is different than for the everyday individual. You may need to account for buy-and-sell agreements, a succession plan, and tax efficiencies, among others.

Six reasons to update a business plan

Entrepreneurs across Texas know that in today’s competitive and fluid marketplace, it takes more than just a good idea to stand out in the crowd. Growing a business involves making strategic and deliberate decisions that include reassessing and revising business plans. Because industry moves fast, plans can become outdated quickly. For a business plan to be truly valuable, it needs to mature and remain relevant to your company’s needs.

As a savvy entrepreneur, you wrote a business plan to attract funding, better understand your customers and competition, document your revenue model and set goals and objectives. Now that you have met your milestones, what does that mean for your business plan? Planning is a constant process. Make your business plan fluid by continually updating it to reflect changes in company vision.

Some mediation strategies for business disputes

If you’re a business owner, you already know. If you’re starting your first business now, you’ll soon find out. About 36% to 53% of small businesses get involved in litigation at some point in any given year. Most business litigation never gets to a courtroom, so mediation is likely to become familiar.

In the pages of Forbes, one veteran mediator supplied four pieces of advice (“tricks”) to stimulate new entrepreneurs. Of course, you may be represented by a lawyer, and an attorney skilled at mediation will oversee the process. They’ll familiarize themselves with your specific dispute, so their advice and tricks should probably take precedence.

How to avoid business disputes

For those who’ve dreamed of opening their own business for years, when they finally start down the path to running their own shop, they realize how many details are involved before a business’ doors open. An entrepreneur needs to choose a business location, formally register the business, hire employees and launch a marketing campaign.

Entrepreneurs also need to think about any potential pitfalls down the road for their business. One of those is becoming involved in a business dispute, which can hamper a business’ success.

Unless otherwise indicated, attorneys listed in this site are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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