Many Americans dream of starting and running their own business. But how many people realize the nightmare that occurs if a business owner ignores important legal issues. We can’t cover every detail of running a business in this article. However, let’s take a look at four legal concerns for business owners.
Protecting Your Turf and Your Data
Customers and confidential information – two things the owner of a business may want to safeguard. Fortunately, we have at least two ways that may reduce the flow of company data to competitors.
For example, some employers may need to have non-compete agreements in place, especially with key employees. In a non-compete agreement, an employee agrees not to use information gained during their employment to compete with the employer. Employees who breach a non-compete may be sued by their former employer.
Another important agreement for business owners: the non-disclosure agreement. Although similar to a non-compete, the non-disclosure agreement does not prevent an employee from working for a competitor or starting a competing business concern. Instead, the employee agrees not to use or divulge the employer’s confidential information after leaving the company.
Non-disclosure agreements may also be used at other times. For example, while in negotiations with Company B, Company A may have to provide confidential information. The non-disclosure is intended to prevent Company B from misusing that information.
It’s All in the Name
Companies zealously guard their names. After all, it is how they publicly identify themselves, especially to customers. Trademarks identify a product, while service marks identify a service offered by a business. A Minnesota business may register a trademark or service mark with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Trademarks and service marks may also be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark business.
Leases in Order?
A new business may need to lease offices, warehouse space, equipment, and company cars. Whether the lease is for an 18,000 square foot commercial property or a photocopier, it’s important to know what you are signing. The best way to do that? Have an attorney carefully review leases before you sign.
Protect Your Computer Systems Like Your Business Depends on It.
Technology permeates our lives, including business. Depending on the type of business you own, you probably need at least one computer for every employee. The security and reliability of your computer system affects your work flow, but also your customers. Even large companies like Target, eBay, and Yahoo! have experienced major data breaches that damaged their reputations and put their customers’ data in a vulnerable position.
If you are not comfortable tackling your computer network, you are not alone. Consider hiring a company that specializes in computer systems, like a managed service provider.
Get Answer to Your Questions.
The lawyers at Virtus Law offer business advice based on years of experience. Contact us by calling 612.888.1000 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our main office is in Minneapolis, with other offices located in Maplewood, Cambridge, Edina, Mendota Heights, and Red Wing.