8 Legal Questions Every Woman Small Business Owner Should Ask | NAWBO

Resources

8 Legal Questions Every Woman Small Business Owner Should Ask

 

Throughout life we are told by family members, teachers and mentors about the importance of asking questions. In the business world, that’s never rang more true. Knowing and following legal guidelines is near the top of the list when it comes to the most important aspects of running a small business.

Here are eight legal questions every women business owner should be asking:

1. Does the new tax law affect me?

Between the lowered corporate income tax rate for C corporations, the changes to itemized deductions and the new deductions to pass-through businesses, the new Tax Cut and Jobs Act that went into effect on January 1 may have a sizable impact on your small business. Make sure to talk with a tax planner so that sure you’re up to date on the new law. For an article on the new law from last month’s NAWBO ONE, click here.

2.   Have I read the fine print?

As tedious as it may seem, thoroughly reading through documents—whether it’s a contract, renewal clause or a price change on a product—can save you a lot of money in the long run and help avoid any legal trouble.

3. Did I get that in writing?

An agreement is just hearsay until it’s in writing, so it never hurts to print up a contract for a client or business partner to sign. Having a document that both parties can refer back to is essential in resolving potential legal disputes that may arise.

4. What is my business liable for?

Small business owners should be aware of what they’re liable for in case of a customer or employee incident. Always consult with your attorney to determine the best ways to minimize the risk to your small business.

5.  Is my company name trademarked?

Whether you’re starting a new small business or considering a company name change, you should strongly consider trademarking the name yourself so that you have full legal protection going forward.

6. Am I keeping a record of everything?

Taking the time to file and organize invoices and receipts is critical for the longevity of your small business. You never know when an invoice from three years ago will be needed to solve a client’s concern, so make sure to keep your paperwork organized so it’s easy to find.

7.  Should I incorporate?

There are several benefits in becoming a corporation, from a tax reduction or referral to limited liability. If you think your small business would benefit from incorporating, you should talk with your accountant and lawyer.

8. Do I have a trustworthy ally on my team?

Often times there’s simply not enough time in the day to dedicate significant time on the legal nuances of your small business. Having a dependable lawyer to assist you with any legal questions can ease your stress and allow you to focus more on the growth of your business. At the same time, having an experienced accountant to file taxes is critical in making sure that the IRS doesn't get involved.