Brett Gold http://www.haysfirm.com 4m 611
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Chicago, you probably juggle a number of different roles in your business. Accountant, administrator, PR person, marketing manager, and partridge in a pear tree. But unless your background is in law, chances are good that you probably aren’t 100% comfortable handling legal matters on your own. Here are five tips to help you feel more comfortable with the legal aspects of running your business.
Put everything in writing
This may seem like a no brainer, but many entrepreneurs (especially those operating on shoestring budgets) tend to overlook this when they are starting up. Did you know that Illinois law actually requires that you put certain contracts into place for different scenarios? For example, if you are selling a product that’s worth over $500 or hiring an independent contractor for over one year, you are legally obligated to have contracts in place. For more information about creating contracts, visit: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/contracts-101-make-legally-valid-30247.html
Make data security a priority
We’ve all heard about data security breaches at companies, and the fallout that’s happened afterwards. It’s important to make data security a priority, especially if you are collecting sensitive information from customers such as credit card numbers and personal info. If you ever experience a data security breach in your company, a large legal battle could ensue. So save yourself the headache and make sure customer data is secure from the get go!
Social media policies
Social media is an amazing marketing tool. But it also opens the door to some legal threats that would be a non-issue if you weren’t active on social media. It is important for your company to have clear social media policies in place that outline how employees should convey information on company social profiles. For example, you probably want to make being respectful and conveying accurate information a part of your social media policy. Have a policy in place and trust that your employees will respect it, don’t micromanage posts or look over your employees shoulders.
Once you incorporate, you are legally required to have business insurance. Business insurance protects you against potential legal threats. You also need to make sure you are complying with state policies regarding different types of insurance for employees, such as health, life, and disability insurance. For more information about Illinois insurance law, you can check out: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1249&ChapterID=22. It’s a complex read, but gives you a comprehensive guide for insurance requirements in the state.
Website legal issues
Are you running an illegal business website? You may not even know that your website is illegal. If you are collecting certain information from customers through your website, you have to have clear privacy policies in place on your site. And if you’re using certain types of advertising on your site such as affiliate links, you need to have legal disclosures. For more information on legal requirements for websites, visit: https://yfsmagazine.com/2011/06/27/is-your-website-legal/
If you are a business owner, your company is one of your most important assets. You want to make sure to protect it by putting certain policies in place, drafting contracts where appropriate, and abiding by Illinois state laws. And if you’re ever in doubt, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney that is well versed in business law in Chicago for guidance!
About the Author
Brett Gold writes on legal issues in the Chicago area. Brett gives guardianship advice to those in need. He spends time with his wife and on vacations has backpacked all over the U.S.A.