Starting a business is an exciting opportunity and often marks a new chapter in life. However, there are inherent risks involved when embarking on this venture. To avoid potential legal issues upon startup, consider the following tips to avoid Florida Business General Liability issues.
Research Business Name- Ensure your business’ name isn’t already trademarked so as not to infringe on another’s name or domain. To guarantee the name is not already in use, do research on the internet and complete a trademark search via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If you plan on expanding your business to other states, it is advised to determine if anyone has trademarked your business name in that location, as well. Lastly, ensure that the corresponding .com name is available.
Create Contract- If you offer services, have a lawyer write up business contracts for your clients. A simple contract can also be downloaded from a law based website such as FindLaw.com in the absence of a lawyer. The contract should include an explanation of pricing, a payment schedule, and establish consequences of late payments. It is also critical to mention the limitations of your liability as the business owner in the event your services are not performed to the customer’s satisfaction. Be sure to include a component that describes how any disputes will be resolved and an exemption from liability due to uncontrollable events.
Realizing Tax Obligations- Operating a business requires many different tax responsibilities that need to be considered. Federal income tax, corporate tax, state income tax, payroll tax, self-employment tax, and sales tax are among the most common.
Protect Intellectual Property- Depending on the type of business you run, you might consider obtaining protection for your unique product or service. This includes patents which will prohibit imitators from infringing on your design. Trademarks can also be purchased to protect your original idea. If your work is creative, experts recommend copyrighting the material. Lastly, employees should sign a confidentiality agreement.
At Newman Crane, we understand the risks associated with starting a business. We offer comprehensive business solutions to cover each component of your company’s risk exposures. To learn more about our offerings and the industries we target, contact our specialists today at (407) 859-3691.