I am putting together a few quick tips for avoiding legal trouble when starting a new business. Of course, you should always seek legal counsel to adjust these tips to your specific circumstances.
1. Do you give advise for a living? If your business is going to be providing recommendations and advise then you are going to want to get liability insurance. If not, you can be sued!
2. Include a collection policy in all contracts. Unfortunately, a lot of people are using services and then walking away without paying the bill or the balance owed. It is important to note in your contracts that a failure pay will go straight to court and not collections.
3. Buy-Sell Agreement. You need this if you have partners. It helps avoids uncomfortable conversations and situations later down the line.
4. Taking the time to get your paperwork in order ahead of time pays off big as your company grows. Before accepting your first client payment, have your offer letters, confidentiality agreements, option agreements and, most importantly, your initial customer contracts ready to go and legally reviewed!
5. Read the fine print of any agreement. No matter how simple, how trust-worthy, or how well you know someone, the fine print must reflect your expectations. If you see holes, fix them before signing!