5 Legal Tips for Small Businesses
If you have an excellent idea for a business, yet have never owned one before, then one of your first stops should be to a lawyer's office. There are an incredible amount of legal loopholes that you have to jump through to open up your business, and complying with the law will keep your doors open and your reputation intact. Here are five tips when it comes to the legal side of owning and operating a business.
Budget More than You Think You Need
Legal expenses (not just fees to lawyers, but fees for licenses and registering your business) add up quickly. You will almost always be paying more than you calculated initially due to issues that may pop up and back and forth with licencing bodies. You should discuss the estimated total legal fees with your lawyer at the beginning, while will help you to budget, but understand that you will probably need more.
Get a Lawyer experienced in Small Business and Startup Law
When you are hiring your lawyer, you should consider one of two options: hiring many lawyers each with unique specializations or hiring a lawyer from a firm that has multiple specialties. If possible, it is great to have a small business lawyer represent you who works in a practice that has experts in multiple areas, so that you have consistent service from specialists who understand your case.
Not having your licence, whether it is a liquor licence, lender licence, professional licence, or even standard business licence, can get you into a lot of trouble. Not being adequately licenced, just like with driving a car without a licence, can result in fines and even jail time. Some licences you can apply for before you have a business, while others you need to have a business to be able to apply for. In the interim, you cannot provide the services that your licence would permit you to provide the public. You can, however, run on a modified basis - for example, a restaurant can still serve food and non-alcoholic beverages while they are waiting for their liquor licence to come through.
Don't Forget About Human Resources
While you have to have all aspects of your legal life taken care of when it comes to running your business, you have to be compliant with all legalities surrounding your employees. You need to make sure that you pay on time and appropriately, that you are following all legal minimum standards, and have all health and safety codes in place. A lawyer can help you design your employment contracts and all codes so that they are legally binding and will hold up in court. A top business lawyer can also advise and help draft policy manuals to help avoid labour problems and work place harassment/ sexual harassment law suits.
Do What You Can While You Wait
If you are waiting for a licence to come through, or paperwork to be completed, do not sit around and wait. Get working and get your business off the ground as much as possible. Business moves fast, you have to move faster.
Legal Advice from Verhaeghe Law Office
If you need corporate law help in Edmonton then contact Verhaeghe Law Office. Our law firm has business lawyers who can help you establish your business and take it to new heights. We have helped 1000’s of start-up businesses grow to small businesses and larger. Contact us today!