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If you're a new small business owner, you're either feeling overwhelmed with how many expenses, laws and regulations you're expected to stay on top of or you're not feeling it yet, but it's coming. Owning a small business is a huge responsibility—up there with raising kids or managing your own life. Even the smallest slip-up can land you in a lot of legal trouble.
For business owners in Memphis, Knoxville or Nashville, it's important to understand state and federal laws and know how to proceed when a legal issue develops. LawInfo has the Tennessee small business law information you need from the first steps of starting a business to registering for taxes.
Legal issues crop up for all businesses, be it contracts, taxes or employment. Legal questions and issues will vary widely by industry and it's a good idea to consult a business attorney beforehand. But a small business owner may encounter legal issues such as:
A good way to test your small business idea and your preparedness for starting one is to make a business plan. A good business plan will both help you and any potential investors/financiers judge your business's potential and provide a roadmap to keep your business on track to your goals.
Your business plan should include financial estimates, market research and sales quotes for real estate and equipment. It should answer questions like:
The primary goal of your business plan is to get you to ask questions and to think critically before you execute the plan.
Businesses in the United States can protect their original business creations under federal intellectual property laws. By registering your small business's intellectual property (I.P.) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the U.S. Copyright Office, you can ensure that your competitors and any unauthorized individuals or organizations are legally prohibited from using your I.P. without your permission.
It's important to protect your I.P. by registering it because, without registration, you may not have a legal standing in court to sue someone who is making a profit from your I.P. without paying your fair share of the proceeds. There are three types of I.P. protections, each of which protects different kinds of I.P. and have unique restrictions and requirements:
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified business lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local business attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.