Legal areas to understand when owning a business

Starting your own business can seem challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many believe. Running your own business will mean that there are a lot of considerations to make and one of the most important things to do before your business is up and running is to understand the legal requirements and issues involved with owning your own business.

Businesses often face legal issues at one point or another so it can be very helpful to have a basic understanding of these issues before a problem or concern arises. While not all business owners consult a business attorney, it may be beneficial to meet with an attorney to fully understand the legal implications of running your own business.

Whether or not a business owner decides to consult an attorney, it is wise to learn about a few basic legal issues that business owners should understand to run a successful business. Below are a few basic legal subject areas that business owners should become familiar with:

  • Contract Law: Most businesses will have to deal with contracts at some point. This includes franchise agreements, supplier relations as well as dealing with clients and customers. It is important to understand the legal implications of contracts and consult an attorney if necessary to go over what should be included in a contract.
  • Tort Law: Businesses can be held liable for accidents and injuries that happen on your property or by one of your products. It is vital to consult an attorney if your business is facing a personal injury lawsuit because it could significantly impact the future of your business.
  • Intellectual Property Law: It is important to understand the basics of copyright, patents and trademark law to make sure no one else is stealing your company’s ideas.
  • Employment Law: This is also important to understand, even if your business only has a few employees. Understanding wage and hour laws and other legal requirements will help prevent future lawsuits and stress in the business.

These are just basic legal issues that business owners would be wise to become familiar with. To fully understand these laws and how it will impact your business, owners should contact a business law attorney to discuss what steps to take to protect their business.

Source: FindLaw, “Starting a Business? 5 Legal Areas to Learn,” Andrew Lu, Feb. 11, 2013

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