What are 3 of the most common legal issues businesses struggle with? Well, as a business attorney what I have commonly seen over the years include the following:

Contracts

When starting out often small businesses will use no contracts or poorly drafted versions. This leads to all kinds of problems because without a well-drafted agreement, there are no terms go govern what to do if something goes wrong.

In the beginning of a business relationship, like any relationship, it is often a time of excitement and expectation for a beautiful future between the parties. But unfortunately, things do not always work out that way when working with business partners, hiring contractors or collaborating with others.

So instead of operating with no agreements or useless contracts you find free online, you should have a few solidly drafted templates in your legal toolkit to work with clients, freelancers and hires to keep your business protected and your assets safe.

Website Terms

This may not seem like a big deal but they are vital to your business website. They consist of two policies, a Terms of Use and a GDPR specific Privacy Policy.

A Terms of Use policy limits your liability for products and services. It can limit warranties or automatic promises for a product. ⁠It can also potentially lower the amount that you would pay to a consumer in a lawsuit.⁠

Use them to warn visitors of what they cannot do on your site such as no stealing content or posting false information.⁠ But you can welcome them to post glowing reviews and testimonials.⁠

And then of course there is the GDPR specific Privacy Policy. While the Terms of Use focuses on protect your website, the Privacy Policy focuses on you protecting consumer data.

If you actively target EU residents, GDPR privacy terms are a must. You’re required to protect their personal information and should have a process in place to do so.

For the majority of you who do not target EU residents or expect them to have access to your site, they do!

With social media, you’re going to get EU visitors at some point and they will opt in to your newsletter, purchase your service or comment on your site.

It’s good practice to secure all sensitive website visitor info. Data breaches are costly. A Privacy Policy linked on your website that states how you protect information is the way to go.

It should have a section addressed to EU Visitors such as, “International Visitors” or “GDPR.”

This section should also let EU visitors know how to:

delete their info;
withdraw their consent; and
transfer their personal information.

Your business website is a representation of your business as a whole and the type of establishment that you operate.⁠ You want your website to appear as polished and capable as the service or product you sell.⁠

What reputable company website doesn’t have a terms of use and privacy policy listed?⁠ You can’t list any because they ALL have them. Website terms are a necessary part of business for serious entrepreneurs.⁠

Websites without Website Terms look unprofessional, vulnerable to attacks (content theft) and less likely to be taken seriously.⁠ Whether your sell actual products or deliver services, your website is your STOREFRONT. Give it proper legal treatment to serve both you and your consumers.⁠

Protecting Content

You must protect your brand. Trademark protection and copyright protection should be part of your legal plan.

I have spoken to so many business owners who have had content stolen or were in fear of stolen content due to sharing proprietary information with others with using legal protection.

No need to operate in fear or play catch up after your hard work has already been compromised. Use the legal tools available to protect your valuable content from the start.

Use NDAs, copyright notices, website disclaimers as well as trademark and copyright registration to ward of would be infringers.

The help is there. Use is now before your available recourse is limited after the theft has already occurred.

Want to know more about protecting your content, using contracts and website terms? Watch my free online training Business Legal Made Simple to learn more about what you can start doing TODAY to protect your business legally.

Or download my free Business Legal Checklist for 10 steps you can start implementing in your business to get on the right track legally.

Hope these tips are helpful! Want more amazing business legal tips? Join my email list and follow Legal Goodness on Instagram and Facebook.

This blog posting is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not provided for specific, individual legal advice.

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