People with all sorts of skills and backgrounds successfully launch businesses every year. Most of these people aren’t experts in business law, but almost all of them will encounter tricky legal issues that they need to navigate. Understanding the potential legal challenges and requirements of founding a business helps prepare new owners to overcome some of the key obstacles on the road to success.
Patents and Intellectual Property Rights
Business owners should always take steps to ensure they have the right to use any image, text or technology in a commercial capacity before associating it with their business. Many businesses don’t need or deal with patents, but they can be vital for those in technical industries. Plagiarized content or stolen images can also incur legal penalties that can escalate into a full-blown lawsuit.
Entity Formation and Registration
From a legal perspective, founding a business in the United States is a relatively simple process. Companies need to choose a state as their base of incorporation, so understanding the legal and tax requirements of state jurisdictions is important. The official registration and formation process also requires some legal skill in providing proper documentation and creating an initial entity structure for the company.
Contracts and Transactions
Drafting contracts to guide commercial transactions is one of the most important reasons small and medium-sized companies turn to business transaction law services. These documents can make or break a court case for compensation in case the other party fails to hold up their end of the bargain. Creating eligible and binding documents requires significant technical and legal skills, so all company contracts should at least be reviewed by a qualified professional before use.
Data Collection and Storage
Collecting user data is integral to modern website design and marketing tactics, but it can also create some difficult legal obstacles for unprepared businesses. The terms of service listed on a website must inform visitors about the data collection processes in place on the site. Data collection tactics also need to comply with applicable security and privacy regulations. Information security is particularly important when storing personal identification or payment information that could compromise customer identities.
Every business faces expected and unexpected challenges as it grows. While these situations often provide valuable learning experiences, it’s also a good idea for businesses to be proactive when it comes to legal matters and seek professional consultation whenever necessary.
About the Author: My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.