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These errors could derail your small business

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Business Law News

Getting a small business off the ground might seem easy, but it can be more nuanced than expected. If you don’t take the time to thoroughly vet and address the issues you could face, then you could be teeing yourself up for litigation. You don’t want that to happen, which is why in this post we want to look at some commonly made mistakes when creating a small business. That way you know where you’re vulnerable and what you can do to protect your interest.

Mistakes to avoid when creating a small business

There are a lot of errors that can be made when setting up a small business. Let’s look at some of them here:

  • Jumping in too quickly: When you’ve got a good idea it can be tempting to jump right into setting up shop. But if you move too fast, you’re bound to miss key issues that leave you susceptible to future litigation. So, be diligent in conducting market research, developing your business plan, and choosing the proper business structure.
  • Forgoing formal contracts: Negotiating, drafting, and signing off on formal contracts can seem cumbersome, especially if you’re accustomed to doing business by word of mouth and handshakes. While you might take pride in your word, realize the risks of foregoing a written contract. Doing so could leave you with significant losses when verbal promises go unfulfilled, or you might end up on the hook for failing to live up to your promises.
  • Neglecting a budget: Getting your business off the ground might be more expensive than you think, but you also need to sink enough resources into the operation to ensure that it thrives. If you don’t create a budget that keeps you on target, then you can find yourself in a difficult position with your business suffering as a result. This can include facing lawsuits related to business debt collection.
  • Developing an incomplete business plan or partnership agreement: Your business plan should lay out the goals for your organization. But if it’s based on faulty market research or sets unrealistic goals, then your plan won’t be as effective as you hope. This could negatively impact your ability to raise capital, expand your operations, and recruit talent. Likewise, your partnership agreement should spell out each partner’s responsibilities and obligations, as well as identify business goals and dictate income. If you skimp here, you could end up litigating against your partners when a dispute arises.
  • Relying on a single stream of revenue: You should diversify your business as much as possible. If you focus on selling a single product or service, or if you contract with only one client, then you put yourself at risk of collapse when market conditions change or business relationships sour. If this happens, then you might end up facing litigation related the dissolution of your business.
  • Forgetting about insurance: Unexpected damage to your business, or a lawsuit arising out of a failed business transaction or personal injury claim, can cause severe financial damage to your business. You might be able to mitigate that risk, though, by having the right type and the appropriate amount of insurance coverage.
  • Miscalculating taxes: Your tax obligation is going to depend, in large part, on your business structure. To ensure you meet your obligation while saving as much money as you can, you need to know how to navigate existing tax laws to your benefit. Otherwise, the state and federal governments might come after you.

You’re bound to face a myriad of legal issues as you work to get your business up and running, and as you strive to maintain and grow it. If mishandled, any one of these legal problems could put your business at risk. That’s why you may want to read up on common mistakes and common legal issues that you could face with your business. By educating yourself, you’ll hopefully find a path forward to protect your interests and your business when the time comes.