Four Areas in Which a Manufacturing Lawyer Can Help Your Business
When you think about small to medium-sized businesses, what comes to mind? Do you picture “mom-and-pop” clothing shops or maybe trendy, locally-owned restaurants? Perhaps you envision something more “white-collar,” such as tax preparation companies or insurance agencies. All of these, of course, are great examples of small and mid-sized businesses, but there is another type of company that many people tend to overlook: those that comprise the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and they are responsible for making many products and product components that we rely on every day. If you own a manufacturing business of any kind, you probably know what it means to create, but you also likely realize the challenges that are associated with running such a company. A qualified lawyer with experience in the manufacturing sector can help you address such challenges so that your business can remain profitable well into the future.
Concerns for Manufacturing Business Owners
Today’s business landscape relies heavily on the manufacturing industry, as almost every sector you can think of needs someone to make products and parts—everything from the medical field to aerospace to computer technology to construction, and virtually everything in between. Manufacturing businesses, however, have some fairly unique concerns, many of which are best addressed with the guidance of a manufacturing attorney, including:
- Licensing and outsourcing rights: The issues of licensing and outsourcing rights can be complicated, and they can arise in several different ways. Your company might obtain the rights to manufacture products based on someone else’s design, or you could grant other companies the rights to use the products that you manufacture. In either situation, it is important to work closely with an attorney to ensure that your intellectual property and finished products are being used in accordance with your licensing agreements.
- Complex supply chains: Depending on your specific situation, you could be at one end—or somewhere in the middle—of a complicated chain of manufacturing businesses that starts with raw materials and ends with finished products. It is important to have solid arrangements in place with the sources of the materials or components you need, as well as with the companies that will put your products to use. These arrangements must be negotiated properly so that your best interests are protected.
- Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements: If you are producing proprietary products or using proprietary processes, it is likely in your company’s best interest to have confidentiality agreements and covenants not to compete in place. Confidentiality agreements can be used with both your employees and business partners, while non-competes are typically reserved for your staff. These agreements must be structured properly in order to provide the protection they are designed to offer.
- Dispute resolution and litigation: With so many variables and moving pieces involved in manufacturing businesses, disputes are bound to arise from time to time. Many such disputes can be resolved by addressing them quickly while others may require litigation in court. Whenever a dispute arises, you should discuss the situation with your attorney so that you can determine the best way to resolve it.
Contact Us for Guidance
If you own and operate a manufacturing-related business, it is important to know where you can turn for help when you need it. You might also consider working even more closely with an attorney as outsourced general counsel. To learn more about your available options, contact one of our experienced Naperville manufacturing lawyers. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.