In our previous Legal Briefs blog, we began a discussion on how an attorney can help when you start a business. In that discussion we talked about the legal structure of your business. Setting up contractual agreements is another area where engaging an attorney will be beneficial to a start-up business owner.
When you start a business, you may need to establish contractual agreements with key people in the operation of your business.
For example, you may need to set up an employment and/or non-compete agreement with key sales employees to prevent them from taking your customers, confidential information, or other employees if they should ever leave your company to join a competitor.
If you are going to have a business partner, you will need to establish a contractual agreement, called a buy-sell agreement, that outlines percentages of ownership by each partner and how the business will be valued if one partner should decide to leave or want to buy out another partner.
You also need to think about the protection of any intellectual property assets. You may need to patent a particular new design or business process. Or, at the very least, you may need to trademark your product or company name to protect against someone copying you.