7 Common Legal Issues Every Small Business Owner Should Know About

Today online businesses are popping up in homes all over the world. That means a greater demand for the legal contracts and business forms that are associated with commercial activity. Think about it. If your dot.com does eventually explode into the next global phenomenon, you will be glad that your assets are covered by responsible legal planning.

Even if you do not have the resources to have a high-priced attorney on retainer, there is a way to save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself. Many common legal issues that have to do with running a small business, can now be handled quickly and efficiently online.

That’s because, a lot of the most common types of small business contracts are available from Rocket Lawyer. Since 2008, they have kept legal fees down to a minimum by providing legal contracts and advice on the Internet. Many of these forms are free to download, or available at a minimal fee. To save even more, check out these Rocket Lawyer discount codes.

1. Establish a privacy policy.

If your small business collects personal information from people, then it is a good idea to establish a privacy policy online. A privacy policy declares what your organization will or will not do with the data they collect. For instance, if you are in the business of collecting email addresses and phone numbers, customers will want to know if you are selling them.

2. Declare controlling state law.

When you declare controlling state law, you basically establish which state laws apply to you. If you have never officially declared a governing state, you leave yourself open to be sued or charged in any state. This increases the chance you will be subpoenaed in a state where you are unfamiliar with the law. What you need are online terms and conditions.

3. Set up a business bank account.

It’s advisable to keep all business activity separate from your personal checking account, especially during tax time. To maintain corporate protection, and qualify for the greatest number of business deductions, open a different checking account. This reduces the chance of having to pay expensive fees and penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.

4. When you need nondisclosure.

A nondisclosure form helps you to maintain the competitive advantage of your business. When sharing company information with outside parties, there are some matters you may not wish to become public. That way both organizations understand exactly what is going on. After all, you don’t want some other entrepreneur stealing your idea before it’s up and running!

5. Different types of release forms.

There are five basic kinds of release forms. Release forms for activities, or release of liability, covers the risks inherent in nearly every scenario. For movers and shakers, there are release forms for working on someone else's property, and release forms for contest winners. And then, there's the dreaded release form for terminating a contract, aka, the pink slip.

6. General contracts for services.

If you contract out a lot of different services, then you should maintain good business relationships with general contracts. On the other hand, general contracts for services work well for contractors who provide a service. This kind of legal form is a clear agreement that sets forth the services to be rendered, as well as the pre-established payment.

7. Creating a bill of sale.

Also known as a receipt or an invoice, the bill of sale establishes the legal rights and responsibilities of both the buyer and seller. If any questions arise as to the transfer of ownership, each party has a legal document that clearly describes the sale. It is always a good idea to get it in writing when you entrust or accept money for a commercial transaction.

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