Naperville Business Lawyer on Some of the Legal Issues Small Businesses Face Everyday
For many small business owners, the threat of business litigation is always in the back of their mind. Studies show that as many as half of all small businesses become involved in business litigation at least once in any given year. Legal disputes which seem like only minor headaches can quickly snowball into extensive proceedings which damage your business’ bottom line. The following are the most common legal issues that small businesses in America often face.
Unenforceable Agreements and Breach of Contract Disputes
When any party included in a business contract fails to uphold obligations described in the contract, the other party can sue for breach of contract. Depending on the circumstances, the party harmed by a breach of contract may be entitled to financial compensation. A judge can decide if compensation is appropriate and how much the award should be based on the extent of the contract breach.
Some small business owners make the mistake of assuming a handshake or verbal agreement is sufficient. Unfortunately, verbal contracts and informal agreement are nearly impossible to prove. Your business interests should always be your top priority when working with a client or vendor. Business owners should never start a major project or enter into an agreement without a written contract.
Accusations of Discrimination or Wrongful Termination
Every key employee in a business should sign an employment agreement that functions as the basis for their employee-employer relationship. Businesses which do not require their employees to sign a proper agreement can find themselves in frequent labor law and employment disputes.
A good employee agreement should, at the very least, include the worker’s classification, employment duration terms, rights upon termination, and important company policies. Poorly written employment contracts and inadequate employee handbooks can lead to confusion and accusations of discrimination. Having a detailed procedure for how and when employees are terminated can also greatly reduce the chances of being sued for wrongful termination.
Copyright and Trademark Issues
Even if your business is in its infancy, trademarking intellectual property like your business’s name and logo is vital. You have probably spent a significant amount of time developing your brand. Without a trademark, another person or business can steal it or claim you stole it from them. It is also a good idea to obtain protections regarding the products you offer through patents, copyrights, and other means Additionally, business owners should take legal steps to protect trade secrets and other proprietary information.
Contact an Illinois Business Litigation Lawyer
If your small business is facing a legal dispute, the Gierach Law Firm is here to help. To speak with one of our highly skilled Naperville business law attorneys, call (630) 756-1160 today.