There are a few keys to making any small business work, but among small-business owners, two words are repeated more often than any of the others: hard work. Most small-business owners have survived because they were willing to do the research and put in the endless hours and extra work others didn’t. For most of these proprietors, their businesses have become their lives, so much so that the line between work and personal nearly ceases to exist. But what successful small-business owners also know is that there are major pitfalls that may affect their business, and among those are lawsuits and other legal issues.
Let Us Help
If you own a small business and need legal advice or representation, contact Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law, and let us help. Bunch & Brock has more than 35 years of experience. Practicing from offices in Lexington, we’re proud to have served our community’s legal needs, from large corporations to individuals. We have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you use the law to your advantage. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.254.5522.
One of the most tragic ends to any business is when partnerships split up. When owners cannot agree on issues, or when one is ready to leave, the repercussions can be crippling. However, there are several legal remedies to avoid the major issues that could lead to litigation. The first is to file a plan similar to a prenuptial agreement for a marriage. This splits the business according to a preplanned document, ending disputes before they start. A plan should also be in place in the event there are multiple partners, to allow votes and shares to be dispersed. Bunch & Brock is well-versed in the dissolution of small-business partnerships, and is available to answer all your questions, whether you are starting or ending a business partnership.
Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Agreements
With the emphasis on technology in the modern world, intellectual property rights have become a significant issue. Many small businesses are created simply to specialize in specific technological parts or ideas. With these sorts of businesses, attracting talented individuals also involves employing legal measures to keep ideas, products and techniques from being taken by competitors. There are two basic measures:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements: Non-Disclosure agreements essentially state that no one privy to specific information mentioned in the contract may disclose that information. The contract covers what can and cannot be disclosed, any exceptions, responsibilities being given for receiving the information and the length of time the contract may be enforced.
- Non-Compete Agreement: These contracts are generally simpler, and, because they may inhibit an individual’s ability to make a living, may not be as strong. These contracts essentially state that an employee may not work for a competitor for a specific length of time after their employment is ended.
One of the largest pitfalls for any small business is lawsuits. While most businesses have insurance to help protect them from suits, a lawsuit may still be bad news for a small business. Aside from the legal ramifications, there is also the blow to reputation, which in turn may hurt the customer base and, ultimately, business. Small businesses can face a variety of lawsuits; some of the most common include:
- Discrimination – These suits can apply to both employees and customers. The focus may be age, sex, race or other considerations.
- Wage Discrimination – These apply strictly to employees and may relate to minimum wage, child labor and other laws.
- Torts – These involve two basic types. If an individual is injured, a business may be sued in a personal injury lawsuit that seeks compensation for damages. The second is property damage – if a business, for any reason, destroys property, the property owners may sue for damages.
- Breach of Contract – This may include anything from early dismissal of a contract with a distributor to not finishing work as promised.
An Attorney Can Help
An experienced attorney can help stave off many of these issues. By knowing where issues are most likely to occur, an attorney may help avoid them, as well as mitigating damages after they occur. An experienced attorney will evaluate a situation and explain options going forward, as well as offering advice when asked or needed.
For more than 35 years, Bunch & Brock, practicing from offices in Lexington, Ky. has been serving the legal needs of our community and the entire state of Kentucky. We don’t just serve the community – we are members of it, and we look forward to helping our neighbors when they need us. If you have legal questions concerning your small business, from startup to dissolution or anywhere in between, contact us online or call us at 859.254.5522