The “Legal Check-Up”: Common (And Avoidable) Issues For Business Owners

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The day-to-day life of the business owner is very unpredictable – from managing employees, trying to drive sales, watching expenses, collecting receivables, and on and on, there is very little time left for business owners to focus on legal issues that may become an issue for them in the future.

As advisors, one of our jobs is to proactively anticipate legal issues that business owners commonly encounter, and then provide the owner with the steps that can be taken now to avoid them. Oftentimes the “rub” in this equation is that the business owner does not see the need (read “value”) in addressing issues that are not an immediate problem. Said another way, trying to get the business owner to slow down enough to act on issues they would just as soon ignore is oftentimes a real challenge from the advisor’s perspective. What oftentimes happens is that the issues the advisor tried to get the business owner to focus on eventually do surface, at which time it is too late and both the advisor and the business owner are left with picking up the pieces to an issue that could have likely been avoided altogether with proper planning.

The purpose of this article is to highlight several common (and avoidable) legal issues that business owners might encounter. While each of the issues addressed in this article will not necessarily apply to every business in every industry, the issues addressed are frequently present, and can have very undesirable outcomes for the business owner if they are not properly dealt with.

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