6 Essential Legal Tips for Small Business Owners

6 Essential Legal Tips for Small Business Owners
by John Carlucci - June 9, 2022

There are plenty of things that need to go right for a small business in Edmonton to get on its feet and eventually thrive. One crucial aspect that small business owners have to pay attention to is legal matters affecting their venture. Failure to pay attention to legal obligations could dip your business in trouble further down the road. Here are some legal basics you need to consider when starting and running your small business:

Choose the correct legal structure

Businesses can be in many forms. The legal entity you decide for your business matters a lot. It determines how you borrow money, taxation, and the procedure to sell the businesses if you ever need to. Protect your personal assets by registering the business as a separate entity. That way, you will not be liable for the business's debts and obligations. 

Get, file, and maintain all the necessary legal documents

Every state has specific legal documents that businesses need to have when starting operations. Documents like articles of incorporations and articles of organizations are necessary. Also, you will need permits and licenses, depending on your state and your industry. You need to identify all the government documents and obtain them. Further, keep them safe and whip them out whenever you need them. 

Seek professional legal advice

The legal nitty-gritty may be too much to stay on top of, especially if you are new to legal jargon. It is best to hire a business lawyer right from the formation of a business. Just find a top business attorney in your area. For example, if you have set up shop in Alberta, you can speak to a top Edmonton business lawyer to help protect your business. A top attorney will guide you in making the right decisions that won't land your business in legal trouble. In fact, investing in a professional will help you avoid the hefty costs of fixing expensive mistakes. 

Always work with written contracts

Handshakes and oral arrangements are great, but they can be hard to retrieve if need be down the road. You need proper documentation that details any agreements you make for your business. Ensure that the written contracts have details of every party's obligations and highlight how to address potential issues. That makes resolving issues more straightforward. 

Safeguard company and customer data

Data is gold in this digital era. That has made it a ripe target for malicious cyber criminals intent on intercepting confidential data. Your business may find itself in legal hot soup for failing to protect customer data. Steer clear of lawsuits by setting up formal privacy policies for your business. If your business operations require you to share or sell customer data to other companies, you need to disclose that to your customers in the privacy policy. Be sure to employ antivirus and security software to protect all the sensitive customers and company information from theft. 

Maintain accurate bookkeeping records

Have accurate books for your business. Be sure to maintain all the necessary records like stock certificates, financial statements, payroll documentation, injury logs, etc. Adopting an effective bookkeeping program helps you avoid any legal trouble. It is also easier to file taxes when relying on accurate records. 

Final remarks

Legal issues can be a catastrophic downfall to a business if not addressed early enough. You need to pay attention to legal requirements and concerns. Having a professional in your arsenal right from the onset will give you the necessary legal advice to avoid costly mistakes. 

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