So let’s suppose that your business is not on the first rung of the ladder anymore. Now you’re officially not a startup, but well on your way to full small business-dom. Congratulations. And be very afraid.
Let’s assume that you have already acted on the most basic advice – you are not routinely acting as your own lawyer, you have sought federal trademark protection for your business name and you are not doing business as a sole proprietorship or a partnership without benefit of a partnership agreement. Here are the next dirty dozen things to sweat about at night, now,
Collect Your Money
Once upon a time, when you first got started, everyone who believed in you was your friend. Not so now because now you are in business. Avoid these three mistakes:
(1) Make sure your standard invoice includes a provision relating to late fees.
(2) Don’t use boilerplate sales or service contracts.
(3) Fire clients who don’t pay.
So, Now You Have Employees
Avoid three more perils:
(4) Don’t misclassify employees as independent contractors. If you control the way in which work is done, you have legal responsibility for these workers as employees.
(5) Don’t misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt from overtime requirements.
(6) Remember to train supervisors about labor and employment laws.
November 27, 2014
The Texas Court of Appeals 2013 decision in Nacogdoches Heart Clinic, P.A. v. Pokala raises some puzzling questions about the direction of noncompete law in Texas. It makes sense from a public policy perspective, but …
September 25, 2014
You have spent a lot of time building your business, but about three to five years ago you began to think about selling, so you have been taking all the necessary steps to position it …
March 05, 2015
Thinking of buying a franchise? That’s very exciting. For many, franchising is the first foray into owning your own business. As with any business purchase, however, you will want to make sure that you can …
December 16, 2014
Staying compliant with advertising and marketing is simple if you focus on just being truthful and clear with your customers. The rest is just understanding some subtleties on how to navigate the common legal traps in …
January 26, 2016
Coca-Cola’s recipe for its soda is supposed to be one of the best kept secrets ever. The original recipe is said to be kept in a vault in the company’s Atlanta home where visitors to …
September 16, 2014
Global sourcing has lots of exciting potential. The recent entry of Alibaba.com onto the global stage along with others such as the FITA Buy/Sell Exchange, Euro Pages and Global Sources seems to presage a new …
January 11, 2016
Nasir and Matt kick off 2016 by discussing how one Indianapolis bar responded to a negative post on its Facebook page. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our …
October 21, 2014
If your small business is about to begin to hire its first employees, you may be puzzled about how much to pay them. If you offer too little, you won’t be able to hire who …
February 10, 2015
There are some clients that I know, no matter what advice we give, no matter what we do, they are bound to enter into the courtroom. It is as if they are destined without any …
November 05, 2015
Employee Performance Evaluation If you scan through the national newspapers you will find article after article about managers and supervisors who are agonizing over the behavior of employees. Sometimes this agony is brought about by the …
Establish a Broad Network of Investors, Lenders and Customers
(7) Establish business credit before you need it.
(8) Avoid customer concentration.
(9) Don’t cede more control of your business to investors than you’re comfortable with.
Don’t Hang Around Too Long
Locate the door, and plan your exit.
(10) Plan your exit 3-5 years in advance
(11) If you have co-owners, make sure that you have negotiated a buy/sell agreement.
(12) Make sure your will provides for the disposition of your ownership interest in the business.
There now. That should be enough to think about at night for a while.