In the early stages of starting a business, proper compliance can help you and your clients avoid future legal and financial problems.
The following areas of compliance can benefit massively from the careful attention of an attorney or other licensed legal professional:
Legal protections for owners and business
Incorporating as a business provides certain legal safeguards, but regardless you’ll want to advise your client on any business entity requirements and registrations related to the form of the business. For example, most states require a corporation maintain annual shareholder and director minutes and file annual reports or statements of information with the appropriate entity in each state where it does business. There may also be local and state licensing requirements.
Consider how many agreements, contracts, or invoices your client may enter into, whether those are with other vendors, or for employees, or with customers. The commercial lease for your business may be one of the earliest legal documents that must be considered for compliance. As the attorney of record, you will want to ensure the agreements are in your client’s favor. For example, many agreements, especially for employment, should contain clauses that specify where and how legal disputes will be resolved. Some agreements will provide for arbitration, while others will specify the court system where any disputes should be filed. Which option is the best option for your client?
As a business starts to grow, hiring more employees is an exciting milestone. Clients should have a written employment handbook as well as a written employment agreement in place before hiring staff. These documents should provide clear terms for employment including time off policies, explain workplace harassment and reporting procedures, and also discuss topics such as breaks and work schedules. If any workers are independent contractors, meaning they are not employees but they do perform work for the corporation, they should sign a separate agreement and their roles and functions should be distinct from those of employees.
Company logos, the business name, and slogans or taglines may be trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The employee handbook should also contain a section on the client’s trade secrets policy, which prohibits employees from using confidential knowledge acquired with your client’s company to provide a competitive edge to a different business.
To discover how Legalinc can help you help your client remain compliant, contact us today!