Inc. magazine recently wrote an article that made me realize many business people are flying blind about the legal parts of business. These are all places you could get in trouble, if you aren’t awake, aware and doing business with your eyes wide open.
Personal assets are protected by the right business entity. Choosing a corporation or LLC as a business entity provides some asset protection, but if someone is determined to go after you personally, they could pierce that protection easier than you may think.
Patents and NDAs protect intellectual property. If someone has more money than you do, or is located overseas, they can steal your ideas.
Conversations between lawyers and their clients are always confidential. Attorney-client privilege is not always absolute. A judge can pierce this privilege.
Good contracts are complicated. Quite the reverse – the best contracts are simple and clear.
Your online posts are protected from libel claims. Even if you frame your post clearly as your own opinion, if someone feels you have libeled them they can sue you.
If someone is injured on your property, you’re liable. You are not responsible if someone hurts themselves on your property if they were negligent, clumsy, stupid or engaged in a criminal act. Also — if you were negligent or intended to harm someone, your insurance will probably not cover any damages.
You can’t be sued if you did nothing wrong. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can sue you for any reason. It’s called frivolous litigation, and even if you prevail, you can spend big money getting out of it.
Once you get a trademark, it’s yours forever. On the contrary, getting a trademark is just the first step – the really important part is protecting that trademark.
You can’t get a DUI on private property. The fact is, you can be charged with a DUI even if you are sleeping it off in your own car in your own driveway.
Lawyers are a necessary evil only to be used as a last resort. It is amazing how many people won’t invest a few hundred dollars for solid legal advice that may save them a fortune and lots of pain in the future.
Good legal strategy and planning begins when you start your business, not when you get into trouble.