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Steps to prevent small business litigation

When someone begins a business in Georgia, he or she may be the only employee in the nascent enterprise. Even if resources are available to hire a small team, any entrepreneur could benefit from an understanding of the basic legal issues that could arise. A recent article highlights several ways that entrepreneurs can protect their companies from common business litigation.

First, it can be important to keep in mind that every type of business, no matter how small, is bound by laws that govern operations. It is generally worth the time to research applicable business laws, such as financial, employment and labor, intellectual property and marketing and advertising laws. Second, when first starting a business, it is important to document any new relationships with a written agreement. Ensuring this is set on the front end can save endless headache and legal hassles as the business grows.

Third, keeping paperwork up to date can save a business owner from potentially having to face fraud or other charges. Many times, a business owner may not be trying to do anything dishonestly, but may have simply fallen behind in taxes or other record keeping. Hiring a professional to deal with things such as tax filing can be money well spent to ensure an owner does not have to face paying thousands in attorney fees and fines if they find themselves facing fraud accusations.

Fourth, prioritizing intellectual property trademarks can be key. Making sure an IP owner's rights are protected could be the difference between a business's success and failure. Securing a trademark for IP is one of the only protections a small business has against someone stealing its ideas.

Finally, most entrepreneurs in Georgia recognize the value of securing legal counsel in the early stages of business formation. Having a business litigation attorney on retainer can assist in helping prevent legal action by ensuring that a business is set up properly and is protected. In addition, retaining an attorney will also mean that an owner has immediate representation available should litigation arise.

Source: entrepreneur.com, "5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business Against a Legal Fallout", Ayodeji Onibalusi, July 22, 2016

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