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Legal hoops for the new business owner

Author: Lisa Coleman
Published: Jul 3 2013

Every business must comply with certain local, state and federal requirements in order to legally operate in the country. Therefore, new company owners should make every effort to ensure that potential legal issues are prevented as much as possible.

Legal hoops for the new business owner

Protect Business Names

Even though compliance requirements may protect business names, company owners should take further steps in order to ensure that the name is:

1. Legal to use and is not trademarked by another individual or business.

2. Protected so that another individual or business is not able to use it.

This is important for all companies in order to conduct both national and international business. The many forms of business names can include:

- Legal names

- Trade names

- Domain names

- Trademarks

A business lawyer can conduct a legal search on the intended business name and then register it with the federal and local government to ensure that the name is free, clear and protected.

Premises Liability and Accidents

When a business owner is building an establishment, there are many codes and laws that must be followed to safeguard both the public and the business itself. A construction lawyer offers a wide range of services from before the building phase through contract compliance to ensure that all laws are complied with. If needing the services of such a lawyer, a google search should be able to help you get a list of local construction lawyers in your area. For example, if you live in New York, input "New York construction law or lawyer" or your zip code, like "11530 construction law or lawyer."

A professional construction lawyer will see that protection is built into building contracts to lessen or eliminate liability associated with erecting new structures or renovating older ones. Otherwise, should an accident or defect in construction occur, the business may be liable for damages.

New businesses should also ensure that they carry sufficient business insurance to cover premises liability and other accidents that are independent of the construction phase. For instance, if anyone should slip and fall in the place of business, claims may be made against the company. No business can afford to pay for those types of damages on their own.

Protecting Data

In the event of disasters like fires, theft or hurricanes, businesses are often unable to function. Even if it is through no fault of the business, any failure to operate may lead to a company's inability to attend to their contractual obligations or satisfy other financial and legal agreements.

Since most companies today rely heavily upon computers, it behooves business owners to ensure that they take safety requirements for computer systems seriously. For instance, every business should have updated security and antivirus software loaded onto and activated in their networks. This makes it less likely that a company will be at risk when computers fail for any reason. Also, key files may be stolen or lost, which may then lead to unpleasant legal actions from customers and suppliers.

Backup systems are also very important in the case of a technological breakdown. Therefore, every business should have at the ready a set of backup files that they can refer to at any time. This may mean seeing that daily, weekly and monthly backups are performed regularly. It also includes ensuring that clients are aware of which backups are employed. Backups should be kept offsite to ensure the company's continued safety.

Business owners are expected to conduct themselves responsibly by doing everything within their means to limit liabilities and risks so that they operate as smoothly as possible. The best way to do this is to enlist the services of competent technical staff and hire business and construction lawyers to ensure that safeguards are in place.

Freelance legal writer Lisa Coleman writes about the important considerations that a new business owner should make to prevent any future legality which might halt their progress. Canfield, Madden, & Ruggiero LLP, a New York construction law group, is equipped to provide services regarding construction of a business, from the building phase through contract compliance, for any new business owner.

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