4 Legal Documents Every Business Owner Needs

Legal

Nobody likes legal documents -- especially business owners who are multitasking and trying to manage the company’s financial health.

Legal documents seem unnecessary long, filled with terminology only lawyers understand and all look the same to the naked eye. And there are always more and more legal documents that a business owner needs…Wouldn’t you like it if that ended? How about we tell you which are the 4 legal documents every business needs so you know that you at least have the most basic protection?

If you have these 4 legal documents in order you, don’t need to worry about the rest if you don’t want to (although all are nice to have).

Let’s make your business legal life easier….

Here is all you need:

1.  A will

Every business owner needs a business will separate from her or his personal will. Preparing a will not only concerns your assets but allows you to take care of your final affairs in the way that you want to. A will is important for your business to be protected and for your family to receive enough funds to be able to sustain their lifestyle. Whatever the fate of your business might be, it’s you who should decide it.

2. Power of Attorney

On many occasions disease, accidents and incapacitation can strike faster than we can react. When a business owner cannot run the business because of health or personal issues, it is imperative that he continues to provide for his staff, partners and customers. This can most easily be done through a power of attorney. This document can be designed so that it is activated only if the business owner is not able to take decisions or take care of his or her own affairs. You can be in control even when your life is out of control by choosing who will operate it in your place.

3. Contracts

Okay, you got us. This is not one single legal document but multiple templates for business relationships. You need several types of contracts that will make interacting with people easier - supplier contracts, client contracts, lease agreements, employment and termination contracts, confidentiality agreements and contractor contracts. If you do not have contracts, be sure that the other side will have. And the contracts their lawyers drafted won’t protect your business interest, that’s for sure.

4.  IP agreement

An intellectual property agreement shows your investors that you own the IP you will be working with. Before you can have such an agreement, you need to legally protect your IP. This includes trademarks, applications, designs, written, video and audio content, business blueprints, strategies and processes. Everything that allows you to be different from your competition and operate your business in the way you do is your intellectual property and should be legally protected. Your IP agreement shows investors and shareholders that you have taken care of that.

You will be doing the smart thing if you have these legal documents drafted as soon as you start your business. But you will be acting even smarter if you have them reviewed annually to make sure they reflect the growth and development you experience.

Your trusted business lawyer will draft legal documents tailored specifically to your business needs, so please take the time to find a good one. Don’t copy paste legal documents from the Internet without reading them first…

Good luck in your business and if you need any legal documents drafted for a flat fee, get in touch!


Katherine Hawes

Katherine Hawes

Director of Education and Training at Digital Age Lawyers (formerly New Age Legal Solutions)

I am the founder of New Age Legal Solutions and Aquarius Education. This is a different type of law firm as we believe everyone should have access to quality legal services with no hidden costs or expensive 'charging by the minute' for a reassuring chat. Small Business Owner? Find out more about our Small Business Packages to gain access to legal expertise on a routine basis for a fixed affordable rate.


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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great information as always. I'm working on some IP stuff currently so this is a timely article.