Small business owners and entrepreneurs take on a heavy workload when starting a new venture. Every decision from the name of the company to forming the business entity to hiring staff rests on the business owner from the get go.
Due to the sheer number of tasks to handle, this is a common time for new small business owners to make potentially long-lasting errors. Some of these potential errors could have major legal ramifications going forward. Here are some of the more common mistakes by Texas business owners and some tips to avoiding them with your new venture.
No partnership or shareholder agreement
At the beginning of forming a new business, one of the last things you want to think about is the potential of a part-owner leaving someday. Structuring a new business needs to start with clearly defined roles for every person involved, from shareholders to employees and contractors.
When one partner or shareholder leaves, dies or gets divorced, your company’s future hinges on how prepared you were from the start. Get a plan in place and in writing when forming the business so future issues have a strategy and won’t blindside the company.
No protection for intellectual property
Obtaining the necessary documentation to protect the company’s intellectual property needs to be a top priority in forming a new business. Don’t wait until a competitor is banging down the door with an attempted copyright or patent infringement case. A skilled business attorney can help ensure coverage of your company’s intellectual property assets.
Failing to invest in the consumer
The consumer is one of the most important demographics to consider in starting a new business. Some consumer protections may seem like lavish luxuries, but failing to invest in consumer protections can hurt your company’s reputation down the line.
Secure the company’s website and any in-house storage of consumer data. Breaches make national news and cause loss of trust and the company’s reputation. Investing the extra money and time into protecting consumer information can set your business apart from those choosing to jeopardize consumer information for the sake of saving some cash.
Lack of employee guidelines
Employees are frequently on the front lines of the company. Interactions with customers and coworkers leave a lasting impression, so it’s important your employees know what constitutes appropriate conduct. Even with a small business with few workers, it’s important to provide expectations for all employees through a written and accessible handbook.
Every new business venture will bring its own share of challenges and triumphs. To give your business the best chance of success, follow the legal and professional advice of those in the know. Small business owners deserve a fighting chance, so use the information at hand to be as prepared as possible in your new venture.