As a business owner, there are all kinds of pitfalls and dangers which you have to be aware of. Failed marketing campaigns, unstable cash flow, and various other hiccups should all be big concerns. However, a lot of business owners neglect to do their homework when it comes to legal challenges. These can really take you by surprise and ruin your profit margins, so here are some of the big ones to avoid.
First of all, patent and copyright issues. Technology is really racing ahead in 2016, so it’s fairly likely that your small business has something to do with a cutting-edge technological niche. Companies at the forefront of modern tech are often up against some serious patent litigation, which can spell disaster in the wrong set of circumstances. It’s pretty common for some companies to secure a patent, and then sit on it for years in the hopes that some other business will violate them, giving them a nice, easy injection of capital. When you’re first developing a new product, it’s essential to make sure your R&D guys are researching any patents and copyrights which may be relevant. You can start off by reading some of the information on the Patent and Trademark Office website
Another serious problem comes up when business owners fail to remit payroll or sales taxes to the appropriate government agencies. By law, all businesses must collect sales and payroll taxes, and remit them to the right agencies. Failing to follow through with this process has often resulted in promising businesses being shut down in the past. I’m sure you don’t want your dream to end as soon as it’s started, so make sure you don’t make this legal blunder! You should be using a payroll service which allows you to remit employee and employer taxes automatically. Setting up a separate account for the collection of sales can also be helpful. If you’ve run into any pitfalls when it comes to filing taxes, you should speak with a tax attorney immediately.
Discrimination and harassment cases are another major legal concern which all business owners need to be aware of. Any ethnic, sexual, age-based or other kinds of discrimination can lead to some seriously costly ramifications for your business, not to mention completely destroying your professional reputation. If you don’t want one little dispute to drive your whole business into the ground, then you need to ensure your legal and HR departments are extremely well prepared for these kinds of cases. Make sure you’re finding regular opportunities to monitor your colleague relations, and check that no kinds of discrimination are affecting the decisions of your mid-level and senior managers. Even small-scale discrimination between different cliques in the office can be the warning signs for a total storm. Because of how much the media loves discrimination stories, it’s essential that you iron out these problems before they explode.
As you work on growing your business, be sure to keep an eye out for these costly legal issues. A little preparation can save your company!by