Business success has different dimensions for every entrepreneur and organizations. Often, business law is not seen as success-defining matter. However, we have chosen 7 legal decisions that define business success to point out the most important issues that can affect your company’s future.
1. Business structure defines your growth
Everyone knows that the first key decision you make as an entrepreneur is your business structure. The business structure defines how your business operates but it can be crucial to your success.
Partnerships and sole trader structures have limited potential for growth. If you are on a mission to take over the world, a company is your way to go. Success is often defined by growth and a company structure is the only one that allows for unlimited expansion.
2. Want to be flexible?
Sorry, we are still at the business structure decision because it is huge. If you define success by staying flexible and being able to maintain low costs while employing people and making a difference then you need to forget about the company structure.
A sole trader structure will be more suitable. It exempts you from tax for the initial business period, allows you to contract big corporations, employ people and stay flexible with very few legal requirements to fulfill.
3. Need a lawyer?
Do you need a lawyer? Or are you about to just do it all yourself?
The decision to have or not to have an in-house lawyer is often a very important one and affects success directly – lawyers are expensive for a small business and hiring one can harm your liquidity. However, without a lawyer you risk getting yourself in court and losing it all.
A business that defines success as legal compliance among other things should have a lawyer on-demand or at least incorporate legal training into its management-training program.
4. Termination agreements – yay or nay?
You already have employment contracts, confidentiality contracts and non-disclosure agreements. Do you really need termination agreements for employees as well?
The answer is YES, if you want to avoid claims even years after termination of employment. Non-disclosure agreements might not be valid after employment ends and termination agreements protects not only your information but keep the employee from changing their mind on settlements.
How it defines success: A termination agreement protects you from financial claims and keeps your sensitive information from ever getting out in the public space.
5. Did you copyright it?
If you haven’t, just do it as soon as possible. Many companies dwell at the decision if to copyright or not. The answer is always YES.
A piece of content that you consider significant for your business should always be copyrighted. One of the keys to the success of the Zippo Lighter brand is their copyrighted 3-dimensional lighter shape.
That’s how they achieve success with one single product – by not letting anyone else do it.
6. Records, records, records….
Okay, we admit it – this is not a legal legal decision….But it is a decision that will support your business and contribute to its success.
Having records of previous years’ business, employee records and partners’ records helps you manage the relationship and protects your interests.
If you want to be successful in business record what is going on in it! You can’t improve what you don’t control.
7. Write it down…
Having everything in writing is not a single legal decision, but a culture of recognizing that not everyone has your good intentions.
Writing everything down is a decision that supports the legal aspects of running a business. It makes you the winner in the relationship with law.
The lack of written documentation can ruin your business and not leave any room for success. When we talk about written files we are thinking contracts, emails, meeting minutes, phone conversation notes, agreements, offers, etc. Every relationship you have and every communication you have needs to be recorded and this is a legal decision that can save you thousands of dollars in lawyer and court fees.
These 7 legal (or law related) decisions will help you run a successful business by ensuring it is protected. In this way you do two things: focus on what’s important – your business development; and put the right instruments in place for achieving success as you define it.
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