A. BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR SMALL BUSINESS, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK.
With many small businesses as clients, I have had the broad and deep experience of knowing what it takes to make sure that small businesses have fully protected their legal interests. Here is a shortlist of some of the areas your small business needs to consider for its successful operation:
1. What type of business structure is right for my new business? Is a sole proprietorship, corporation or partnership the way to structure your business?
2. Make sure that if your company is in the business of selling goods to third parties that you have a comprehensive and updated credit application.
3. Make sure that you have an enforceable and clear guaranty to go with the credit application if you are a seller of goods or products.
4. Does your company require an employee handbook or manual?
5. Does your company have appropriate insurance whether it be a general liability or worker's compensation insurance, as examples?
6. Make sure that you review all of your contracts thoroughly. Once the contract is signed, certain rights and liabilities attach.
7. If you are a contractor, know the mechanic's liens laws in Massachusetts. You should be current in knowing all of your rights as to when you can protect your legal interests.
8. Make sure that you understand the difference between employees and independent contractors.
9. When signing someone else's contract you have to make sure you read the fine print. Make sure that you understand any liquidated damages provisions or forum selection clauses that could otherwise affect your rights under an agreement.
10. What are the best ways to deal with disputes that arise among customers, vendors, and employees?
11. Take the extra step to develop a strong working relationship with a lender. Having such a relationship will be a cornerstone of your business's future success.
12. Never sign a lease without having it reviewed in the first instance by competent legal counsel.
13. How will your company handle negative social media reviews?
14. Make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to recruiting new customers.
Make sure that your new or existing small business takes the time to consider the points raised in this blog. At the Katz Law Group, we like to act proactively to protect our clients' legal and financial interests. Remember, it always costs less money and time to fix a potential problem before that potential problem turns into litigation. Please call us at 508-480-8202.