Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ignorant of the Law?

As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand that we as a breed are self-sufficient go-getters. That attitude is what helps us gets through the tough start-up years. However, at times, the "I-can-do-it-myself syndrome" can get us in over our heads. With respect to legal matters, I never advocate doing it yourself. It's a sure-fire way to get you, and your business, in trouble.

That said, hiring a lawyer does not give you license to be completely ignorant about the laws that affect your business. In most businesses, you do not need to be an expert about the law to keep yourself out of trouble. You merely need to know a little bit so when you spot an issue that may land you in trouble, you can find the help you need to resolve the problem before it becomes a big one.

Generally, learning a little about the following basic areas of the law can help keep you out of legal hot water:

* Basic contractual rules
* How to protect your ideas and inventions (copyright, patent, trade secrets)
* Major employer-employee laws
* Securities laws affecting how you can raise capital for your business
* Governmental regulation of your industry, including licensing requirements.

A special note about using contracts in your business. All of your important business agreements must be in writing. Oral agreements, particularly with respect to the sale or purchase of goods valued over $500.00, are usually not enforceable and leave you with no recourse for compensation or legal action. Make sure your contracts are well thought out, drafted in your favor and give you flexibility and protection.

Learn about 7 Deadly Legal Mistakes that cost entrepreneurs thousands. Visit www.7deadlylegalmistakes.com to get a copy of our free mini course.



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