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Legal planning can help startups and other businesses

Start-up businesses in Florida and other areas will likely benefit from the consultative assistance of a good business attorney during the formation and planning stages. One former corporate general counsel in another state started a company to provide her services to small businesses on a daily basis, for a daily flat-rate. That’s one way of packaging legal services, but good business attorneys are available in every metropolitan area at rates and terms that may be flexible and geared to the budget and needs of the business.

Lack of early planning can create a vulnerability to potential litigation pitfalls. Often these could have been prevented by early legal planning. One common danger is operating with bad contracts or with no contracts to cover potentially thorny situations.

Another is failing to appropriately manage employees through employment agreements, employment manuals, no-compete clauses, and other important methods. The company may also need to get employees to sign restrictive covenants that prohibit confiscating trade secrets or customer information. Additionally, a good employment manual can help prevent many problematic issues that can arise.

When things are clearly planned out, and policy is communicated in advance, the company can avoid many rocky experiences. Written policies and procedures that define and enunciate the ethics, procedures, and legal responsibilities of management and employees can be the bedrock of a company’s operational framework. Otherwise, the standards and policies of the business can get scattered and under-utilized.

Dealing with other businesses in Florida and other locations also may benefit from set standards and procedural guidelines. Where basic transactions follow certain patterns, form contracts can help to streamline operations. Furthermore, periodic consulting with a business attorney can help to assure that decisions and commitments are made with more complete information and a better understanding of the legal impact. Thus, prevention in business relations is something that can often save a company great aggravation and expense by helping to avoid future conflicts.

Source: The Boston Globe, “For small businesses, lawyer is general counsel for a day“, Cindy Atoji, Aug. 24, 2014

Source: The Boston Globe, “For small businesses, lawyer is general counsel for a day“, Cindy Atoji, Aug. 24, 2014

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