One very talented law professor once said to his business and management students:
“Look guys, I am not here to teach you all about law. I know you are into business, not into legal issues. I am here to show you how to not get in trouble and avoid legal claims for your business”
…and this is when all students started listening.
All small and big business owners know that they need to comply with rules and regulations regarding contracting, employment, credit, etc. They know they need legal help when setting up the business but many tend to not take another look at their legal health until they see a red alert.
In fact, small businesses are taking huge risks by not having a regular legal check up and here are the 5 top reasons why:
1. Spending money now to save later. Small business management is one that requires constant decisions on allocation of limited resources. One of these resources, of course, is money and in reality, cash is seldom spent on anything that is not broken.
In the legal environment fixing something that is already broken (breach of contract, i.e.) can have very big consequences on the business. Waiting for the court order to take action is a financial risk that no small business can afford.
2. Protecting the business. Many times complying with simple legal requirements can protect your organization from outside threats. Think about copyright – if you didn’t know about it, you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that nobody can use your logo or trademark. Copyright is one way to protect your company but there are may others as well – failing to protect your business with up to date legal tools provides loops for others to exploit your organization.
3. Your employees. When you hire people to work for your company, you need to meet certain requirements and you make a commitment to them. Too bad that those requirements keep changing all the time! Employees in your company can communicate with others across the industry and identify gaps in your employment practices. Keeping up with regulations in the employment law creates a relationship of trust with your staff and also helps retain the best members of the organization.
If a company fails to comply with employment laws and recommendations it might not only face serious penalties, but also ruin its reputation among potential employees thus losing any chance for attracting best talent.
4. Keeping healthy partnerships. Contract law is one of the most complex sides of business law because it requires two parties to be able to agree on sometimes quite controversial issues.
The goal of your contracts with partners, suppliers, real estate companies, etc. is to make sure there are no misunderstandings and none of the parties acts to the other’s disadvantage.
However, contracts are usually long-term documents and the business environment is constantly in motion. Your company is changing and your partners are changing as well. In such a dynamic environment a business needs to constantly revise contracts to make sure they are still in its best interest. As business and environmental conditions become different, so should contractual agreements.
For example, delivery time of 3-weeks can be acceptable for a start-up but as business grows it might need a 1-week delivery of goods. If a contract states that the delivery time is set to maximum 3 weeks this might hinder the business. Identifying such areas of uncertainty should be a continuous process in the organization.
5. Your customer’s trust. It is a no brainer that customers of any type and size would always prefer to deal with an organization that is operated under legal regulations.
By showing that you are continuously involved in making sure that your company is up to date with legal requirements, you show integrity and create a solid base for trust.
Would you work with an organization that does not pay a fair rate to its employees or tries to evade taxes? Would you trust them to do business with you?
Your regular legal health check can prevent you from losing business and this is the bottom line of business law.
We realize that a small business can be overwhelmed by all of the legal requirements it must operate under. That’s why we compiled a short legal health checklist for you to go through on a regular basis. You can download it HERE.
If you still feel that you don’t have the time, knowledge and resources to complete your legal health check, we would happily do it for you.
The biggest limitation to a regular legal health check for small businesses is the financial weight of such services. At Aquarius Lawyers we understand how hard it is to assign scare financial resources to legal assistance. This is why we provide legal package services with set prices affordable for small business.
Need help? We can do your legal health check up for you.
Contact us for details.