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Small Business Making a Big Impact: Protecting Your Small Business - Save Yourself the Headache and MONEY

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | May 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

Contributing Author: Kristine M. Custodio, Advanced Certified Paralegal

Has your small business grown over the past year? According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), you are not alone - in the second quarter of 2016, California's economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2%, which was faster than the overall US growth rate of 1.2%. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners wear multiple hats when running their businesses and companies, especially during the beginning. As the business grows, so do the potential issues that surround such growth. I will discuss some of the common small business issues, below.

1. Written business plan and operation agreement

Document, document, document. You may have heard this time and again, but, documentation, such as defining roles and responsibilities of co-founders and partners, salaries, and future compensation, may stave off future litigation or disputes with regard to business administration and operation.

2. Deciding on what entity suits your business

Entity formation, is critical to future business success. The right entity formation impacts potential business litigation and taxation, among other key areas to run a successful business. In my previous blog post, I discussed the Differences in Filing as an LLC, Partnership, S Corp, Sole Proprietorship and Independent Contractor).

3. Protecting your work

Not obtaining trademarks, patents or copyrights to protect your work can cost you in the long run. The SBA Small Business Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks' blog provides an overview of how small business owners can protect their work.

4. Using standard form contracts

My colleague, Corey Schechter, recently blogged about Using Standard Form Contracts May Hurt Your Business. The main point of Corey's blog was this: An experienced business attorney will help you create a contract that is appropriate for your business setting, protect your interests, and conform to the law. This initial investment will give you peace of mind and may save your company from expensive litigation down the road.

Some of the most common business disputes involve contract issues between employees and employers, buyers and sellers, or lessors and lessees. Many of these contract disputes involve the use of standard form contracts that do not adequately represent the business owner's interests. These disputes may be avoidable with a contract that is tailored to the business and its specific goals.

5. Employment issues and failure to keep employee documentation

Once you hire your first employee, it is essential to follow and comply with state and federal employment laws. Cutting corners to save a few dollars usually ends with disastrous, expensive results. Be sure to know, understand, and follow regulations for your small businesses success.

If you have any questions about your small business, Butterfield Schechter LLP is here to help. We work for your success. Contact our office today with any questions you have on how we can help you and your business succeed.

About the Author

Paul D. Woodard

Paul Woodard practices in the areas of Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, ERISA, ERISA Litigation, Business Law, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Estate Planning.

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Retirement Plans

We help establish a customized plan that meets regulatory requirements as a tax qualified plan. Following implementation, our attorneys can assist clients and their plan administrator with regular reviews and updates to help with regulatory compliance for the plan's operation, and continued effectiveness in meeting the client's specific goals.

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We are dedicated to employee ownership. When you come to us for ESOP services, you receive influential legal counsel who stand beside you to help you stay informed, in compliance, and abreast of the latest developments-all to help you realize your plan goals as fully and effectively as possible.

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A QDRO is a specially designed court order that is required for the division of retirement benefits in a family law case. Many family law attorneys do not possess the expertise necessary to divide retirement benefits or stock options upon divorce. We have extensive experience in dividing qualified plans, government plans, IRAs and stock options between the employee spouse and non-employee spouse.

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