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Legal Issues Behind Running A Small Business


by Melissa Page

If you’re running a small business, you need to be on top of legal basics to make your business successful. To make sure you don’t encounter any nasty surprises, here are the common legal issues behind running a small business you should be familiar with:


A business operation entails many transactions and agreements that should be recorded in written form. It may be an employee contract, a contract between you and your client, a rental agreement or a bill of sale. There are many forms of contracts that can be adapted to suit your needs. However, you should still contact an attorney to make sure that the contents are legally valid.

Government compliance.

Many government agencies have requirements for small businesses. These rules and regulations, such as payroll compliance or outsourcing compliance, provide safeguards towards society. Failure to comply to these rules and regulations may lead to penalties and civil lawsuits – which may affect your business. Make sure you are well informed of the different requirements.

Change in business structure.

There are many reasons to change your legal business structure – whether it’s gaining protection against personal liability, dissolving a partnership, seeking a break from excessive bookkeeping. When you decide to change your business structure, you’d need sound legal advice during the transition.

Debt collection.

There are many times when a client doesn’t pay on time. Usually, business owners send demand letters or discuss with the client and ask what’s causing the delay. Sometimes, owners get creative and offer one-time discounts to force the client into paying. However, if the client still doesn’t send payment, the last resort is turning over the account to a collection agency or a law firm.


In a business operation, you deal with a lot of leases, whether involving your location or equipment. Leasing equipment can be a good option for those with limited capital and those who need to upgrade their equipment every now and then. So is true when leasing the physical space for your business. Upon leasing, there are legal papers, waivers, and contracts to consider. You would need sound legal advice from an attorney to ensure that you avoid nasty covenants in the lease.

Intellectual property.

Today’s highly technological world has led to the rise of intellectual property legal disputes. Patents, copyright, design rights, and trademarks are some of the main types of intellectual property rights. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are protecting your IP and not committing IP infringement. An attorney well-versed in trademark and copyright law is best to have by your side.

Customer complaints.

Handling customer complaints is an important part of running a business. But being able to handle these complaints isn’t easy. With lack of practice, you can destroy your otherwise incredible reputation. If you’ve tried to resolve the problem with less success, it may be time to call in a legal adviser who can offer objective advice and perspective to the existing problem.


With so many legal issues to handle while running a business, it would be wise to have a competent attorney by your side. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on getting a lawyer nowadays. Legal services providers such as Legal Shield give small business owners access to legal protection for a low monthly fee. Good luck in running your business!


Melissa Page became fascinated with the world of business at a tender age. Today, she shares this fascination to numerous others by blogging about different aspects of marketing and business. When she’s not busy writing or working on her friends’ group blog, Word Baristas, she’s busy monitoring her social media profiles for opportunities.