The Six Most Common Business Law Mistakes You May Be Making

PatentBusiness owners have a lot of responsibilities – they have to delegate responsibilities, promote the company, manage the administrative duties – the list goes on. The last thing that any of them have is extra time.

When a business finds itself in legal trouble, they need a lot of time to sort through it. Here is a list of the six most common business law mistakes made by CEOs, Presidents and owners everywhere.

  1. Employee Inventions – When you work for an engineering company, marketing agency, or any other field where your employees are being paid to create things, do you know who owns the rights to those inventions and innovations? The right to patent that invention does not automatically belong to the employer.
  2. Purchasing Another Business – When a company buys another business, the company that makes the purchase can be held responsible for the unpaid taxes of the business. A purchase agreement might outline that the seller of the business is responsible for all pre-sale liabilities, but the taxing authorities can go after the purchaser of a the business.  Not only can that, but a company that buys another, also be responsible for the environmental liabilities of the purchased business.
  3. Sensitive Company Information – When it comes time for an employee to leave the company, it is time to think about what they know. Do they know any trade or company secrets? Your business needs to take precautions to keep the information secret through a non-disclosure agreement or other legal document.
  4. Read the Fine Print – When it comes to signing documents or clicking “I agree” to a website’s terms and conditions, it is important to take the time to read the fine print. It may seem time consuming, but if you don’t you could be subject to trouble in the future.
  5. Failing to Trademark – When it comes to creating a unique slogan or logo for your business, it is best to trademark it.  Legal battles for the rights to that logo or slogan can be avoided by trademarking your brand.
  6. Not Using Contracts – Using contracts clearly defines what services and products are going to be delivered to the customer. Some business owners don’t define it on paper, and instead talk over details, shake hands and walk on. But what happens when that employee doesn’t get what they are “promised”? It is your word against theirs. Be safe and use contracts.

Is your business guilty of any of these mistakes? Consulting with a business attorney can help you understand where your business may need to use legal documents, seek legal counsel and protect your business from conflict in the future. Contact the Business Law professionals at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo, ND for guidance to keep your business moving forward.


The materials in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The newsletters and articles are offered only for general informational and educational purposes.