There are many legal issues in owning and operating a small business. Regardless of the nature of the business, the number of employees, or the length of time in business, there are common concerns in which an owner will need the guidance of a trusted attorney experienced in business law.
The attorneys and the legal professionals in The Shenon Law, located near you in Sherman Oaks, California, want to educate their clients, current and new, on issues requiring attention for the success of any small business.
There are matters that arise at the concept of a business venture that need the advice of an attorney. Below is a list of the three common elements of the start-up process:
- The Business Name
A company operating, or planning to operate, cannot have an identical name of another within the same State. The Secretary of State’s website has user-friendly features to search for names that are in use, or names that are available for use. If a chosen name is not in use, there are legal protections to secure one’s use of an available name.
- The Business Structure
The structure of a business organization will provide protections in differing capacities. The common options are:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (“LLC”)
- General Partnership
- Corporation (“C-Corp” or “S-Corp”)Each of these structures has diverging considerations and appeals. These considerations relate to tax consequences, the ownership of real estate, and the operating and management entity.
- The Business License
- The Business Name
All businesses need a license to operate, but not every business will be subject to the same permit requirements at the various government levels. At minimum, all businesses need to secure a license to operate and a tax registration. An attorney experienced in business law will guide the owner through any permit process.
Ongoing Legal Business Issues
Below is a list of two legal issues that will surface during the normal course of operations. An attorney can protect the positions of both the company and the owner, individually.
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
The purpose of a non-disclosure agreement is to ensure the confidentiality of any proprietary information when this information is accessed by third parties. Typically, these agreements are required in financing transactions and contracts with third-party vendors.
- Employee Labor Law
Legal issues pertaining to employees and labor laws occur at the local, State and Federal levels. These issues involve hiring and firing, wages and salaries, employee classification, employee discrimination, and the hiring of non-citizen workers. All of these issues are very technical where the advice of an attorney is imperative.
Labor law extends to the safety within the workplace where the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must be known and followed. OSHA standards and the protection of all employees are among the most important legal issues in business.
The creation of the standard operating procedures manual for any business and the training of all employees to implement the standards will change over the course of operations. It is critical to devise these strategies and comply with all requirements under the guidance of a business law attorney.
This post contains the common issues affecting the start-up and the operation of any business. There are many other legalities that will arise and occur throughout the span of operations.
A general rule for an owner to follow is to not make any changes or decisions that impact any legal protections without the advice of an attorney experienced in business and employment law.
If you are a business owner and would like additional information on mitigating common legal issues, then please contact The Shenon Law, located in Sherman Oaks, California, for a free consultation.