Posted on March 28, 2015 in
Your business is formed. The organizational paperwork is filed with the state. You know your products and services, your rate of return, your market, and your brand. You’ve got the right property leased or purchased for your operations, and you’ve found a great manager. Your business partner is the best. Your business plan is solid. You and your team are working hard and building your dream. And then it all goes wrong; your “great” manager is suddenly a competitor, taking three key sales employees with him. What went wrong? Most likely the answer will be found in your business’s legal plan, or the lack of such a plan, that documents and organizes the relationships and rights that define and protect your business’s interests.
Nobody knows a business better than the people who intimately grow it. But building and maintaining a business requires the forethought and devotion of starting and maintaining a family. And a business, like a family, must be prepared for when things go wrong. For example, do your operations fit the organizational structure you created? Have employees given access to confidential information signed non-disclosure agreements? Have key managers and sales personnel signed covenants not to compete? Are the rights and obligations of you and your business partners or shareholders clearly defined in company documents, such as shareholder agreements? Have overtime and tax withholding policies been formulated and properly implemented?
A legal plan is a thoughtful review of your policies and procedures to ensure that your methods are sustainable and supported by the stability of the law. It corresponds to the components of a business plan, in order to support your operations and expectations, to see your business from multiple points of view, and to provide your business with the best protection of the law. It may be understood in terms of people and relationships with overlapping interests and expectations:
(1) your customers and your target market;
(2) your suppliers, subcontractors and vendors;
(3) your employees, independent contractors, management and most confident leaders;
(4) your partners or co-owners; and
(5) the sum of it all: your profits, intellectual property, and tested methods of business.
A legal plan will help to sustain your vision, surpass your goals and protect what you have built. Contracts for purchases and sales should match your expectations. The roles and responsibilities of the people who work for you must meet the changing mandates of federal labor law, and the regulations of the Texas Workforce Commission. The trust you put into your managers and senior employees should be protected with non-compete agreements that fit the limitations imposed by Texas law. Your trademarks should fit your activities, and your formational documents should fit the relationships that define your operations.
A legal plan maintains the structure of a business. It helps to prevent problems from happening and to minimize unnecessary risk, so that you can build your business. At the Vethan Law Firm we listen to business owners. We represent business owners. It is all we do. We welcome you to share your needs to plan for your business’s present and future.