Is your business or non-profit structured properly? Is it built on a solid foundation?
These seem like simple enough questions. You set up your business or non-profit, and as far as you know, things are going smoothly (or at least as smoothly as they can be in the world of entrepreneurship). But what problems might be lurking just beneath the surface?
There are certain things we look for when talking to a new client to make sure the business or non-profit at least has a basic foundation in place. Without this foundation, none of the other legal work we do will matter.
What do you do when your business has valuable competitive information that you don’t want a current or former disgruntled employee to share with others? Perhaps you’ve built a valuable customer list over the years, or you have a unique way of pricing your goods or services. Maybe you’ve developed a unique software solution, or you have special deals in place with your vendors. Whatever the information is, if it has economic value precisely because it isn’t known to your competitors or the general public, then it probably qualifies as a trade secret. What should your business be doing to protect such trade secrets?
As your business grows, you realize there are only so many hours in the day, and those 24 hours simply aren’t enough for everything that needs to get done: producing your product or service, marketing the business, making sure there is enough money to keep going, growing yourself as a leader and entrepreneur, etc., etc. At some point you simply need more help.
But taking on a regular payroll expense seems daunting and payroll taxes sound confusing and expensive. (After all, if you hire someone at $10/hr, it actually costs the business more than $10/hr…thanks Uncle Sam!) Many small (and some not so small) businesses in this situation decide to hire independent contractors instead. But is that truly the way to grow your business, or is it a trap waiting to spring?