Running a business can be a legal minefield. If you are a business owner, you owe it to yourself, your employees, and your customers to know and understand the risks you face on a daily basis. Those who fail to recognize risks and prepare for the same can face lawsuits that devastate a business. Taking appropriate measures early on could help you protect your business from these kinds of risks. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Creating an Entity
Remember when Mitt Romney famously stated that corporations are people? Well, like him or not, he was essentially correct.
When you create a corporation, or a separate legal entity, you are creating a legal being that is separate and distinct from you, the individual.
This can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Primarily, it could limit liability. Corporate officers are generally not personally liable for the actions of a corporate entity. If you are doing business as an individual, you may be exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. Having a separate legal entity could also create clarity regarding business finances.
An attorney can help you decide if creating a legal entity is right for you, and if so, which entity will best suit your needs. Should you decide to create a legal entity, an attorney can help you through the process of doing so. It may be more simple and less expensive than you had imagined.
Creating Business Practices
When business owners fall victim to legal traps and pitfalls, it is often the result of poor planning. Oftentimes, these situations could have been avoided by having sound business practices in place.
By having business practices in place, businesses can operate more efficiently, avoid noncompliance with the law, and even become more profitable (in particular, from successfully collecting funds from customers and clients).
Sure, a business owner could draft these policies and practices on their own. If so, however, they may not properly identify all legal issues that might even be obvious to an attorney.
If you are a business owner who wants to create policies and procedures to avoid litigation and maximize efficiency, consulting with an attorney can help you achieve these goals.
In our “Civil Litigation” section, we talk about lawsuits that take place over contractual disputes. These lawsuits are often the product of poorly drafted contracts. Perhaps they do not clearly outline the expectations of the parties. Perhaps they fail to account for all possibilities. Regardless of where the breakdown occurs, having an experienced attorney draft, review, and/or negotiate your contracts could potentially save you from arguing over them in court down the road.
Business engaged in activities that could be dangerous should certainly protect their interests through a Waiver or Release from Liability.
Some business owners fail to understand that a poorly drafted waiver is not worth the paper it is printed upon.
Perhaps the waiver you found on the internet worked for somebody in another state, but is it enforceable under Pennsylvania law? If it originated in Pennsylvania, has it accounted for updates in Pennsylvania law?
This is why it is important to have an attorney evaluate your needs and take the time to draft a waiver consistent with those needs. Although no waiver can possibly protect a business for each and every scenario, a properly-drafted waiver could be worth its weight in gold.
The information and content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please hire an attorney competent to fulfill your needs.