There is an innumerable amount of legal issues in business that may require the touch of a qualified business attorney, but there are definitely some that come up more often than others. Maybe simply knowing the most common legal issues business owners face will help you, the small business owner, to avoid making the same mistakes.
5 Most Common Legal Problems That Come Up in Business
- Discrimination – Employment discrimination occurs when you make any sort of employment decision such as hiring, firing, promoting, etc. on the basis of a person’s race, sex, national origin, or any other protected class. There are some circumstances where you may find yourself on the wrong end of a workplace discrimination lawsuit, even if you were not acting intentionally.
- Patent/Copyright – Companies that rely on invention and innovation can easily find themselves in a battle over copyright and patent issues. It’s not uncommon for companies to hold on to patents for years, keeping it secret and waiting for another business to come along and violate the patent. Make sure that you and your team conduct thorough research to avoid these traps.
- Wrongful Termination – Disgruntled former employees may try to sue for wrongful termination. Always be sure to keep good documentation before and after firing an employee. Have a business attorney draft a termination form, and have any employees you let go sign that form. That way, you will have a solid defense against wrongful termination lawsuits.
- Consumer Lawsuits – Customers who are dissatisfied with a service or product may sue you for a variety of things. If enough customers start to feel the same way, you may be facing a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits, even if you win the case, can do irreparable harm to your company. It’s very important that you talk to a business lawyer as soon as possible, preferably even before the lawsuit, so that you can get ahead of the problem.
- Partner Liability – By setting your business up as a partnership rather than an L.L.C. or corporation, you could be opening yourself to a lot of unnecessary liability. If your business gets into trouble, both you and your partner’s assets and investments could be at risk. A business attorney can help you to set up a limited partnership or corporation in order to avoid risk