A legal advisor should be one the first hires you make when you’re running a new company. You wouldn’t believe how many legal issues you can run into in your business, even just in your first year. Problems such as work-related accidents, copyright, taxation and issues with HR could all be problematic for your company to name but a few and great terrible press. So, how does having a legal advisor help you here?
Well, with a legal advisor on your side, you can ask them before you make any abrupt and potentially controversial changes to your business. They should also be able to keep you updated on the law and any altercations or legal precedence that could ultimately impact how you run your company.
If you do face a legal issue in your business, an advisor should also be able to inform you on how to proceed and when to move forward. This could stop you moving matters to court when you’re more likely to lose or settling when there is perhaps no legal basis for a claim against your company. It’s always great to have an expert in your corner, particularly when completing some damage control.
So, let’s look at the type of legal issues you can run into in a little more detail and determine how a legal advisor might help you handle them.
Copyright, Plagiarism, And Fair Use
Since we look at the world from a PR perspective, it is worth by examining the problems you can have with marketing content. You will be releasing a whole load of content to market your business, typically on a daily basis. This is completely unavoidable, but it’s crucial that any content you use is completely original or copyright free. If you are creating your own content, you should be running it through a Copyscape checker before publishing it online. While you may think the work is completely original, you’d be surprised by how the brain can store information that you think was your idea.
Don’t forget, there are easy ways to get copyright free material online if you don’t want to create it yourself. You should look at dead sites online and take content from there. Since these are not on the Google Index, they are essentially free from the issues of copyright.
In some cases, you might also find that certain materials are fair use. The classic example of this would be the music from the Nutcracker. Anyone can use this music in advertising completely free of charge.
If you do get in trouble with copyright, the best option is usually to retract the material and offer an apology. However, on occasion, you might find yourself being sued for this type of action. If that’s the case, you will need a legal advisor to help you steer through the issues.
Do bare in mind that copyright extends beyond content. You also need to keep it at the back of the mind whenever you release or introduce a new product on the market. You will need legal patenting in cases like this.
Trouble With Finances
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the legal trouble you run into is to do with money. Taxation is usually the major cause of issues here. You don’t want to get caught paying too little tax to the government when running your business because they will make an example of you. They will aim to ensure that no one ever makes the same mistake. This could mean that you will be heavily fined. The problem is that paying tax on a company is quite complex. We wouldn’t be surprised if you were confused the first time you had to calculate your tax.
There’s outgoings, issues with what you can and perhaps can’t deduct. On top of this, there are problems with interest on savings accounts that you might be using to store your revenue and so forth. All this information needs to be taken into consideration, and while it has become easier to manage all these factors online, you can still make a mistake. It is worth thinking about using an accountant to manage your taxation. If you do get a call from the government about your taxes, you could be audited. It’s at this point that you will need a corporate lawyer specializing in taxation. There are many areas of corporate law, but you’ll find that lawyers practicing in this sector do spend most of their time dealing with financial issues. You can avoid issues with taxation if you take this advice and don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s simple. It isn’t.
Problems With Employees
Yes, you can run into plenty of problems with employees and hiring or firing is the perfect example. When you hire an employee, you might think that you can hire whoever you want. Don’t be so sure about this because that’s one of the reasons why HR are always consulted during hires. You can only hire based on merit. You can’t hire or choose not to hire someone due to prejudice or discrimination. You might think that it would be easy to avoid issues like this, but be careful. Hiring practices need to be fair and equal. For instance, you might choose to hire someone because you think they’d be a good fit for your company. Yet, someone else actually has more experience and better qualifications than that individual. At this point, you could be faced with the challenge of explaining why that individual wasn’t hired. Unless you can show why the other person is a major asset you could face a hefty damages payment.
Firing is even more complicated because wrongful dismissal cases are all too common. As such, you need to make sure that if you do let a worker go, there is justification for that action. And again, you must be careful here. Typically, dismissal can only be due to their standard of work or their actions in the workplace. You would be walking a dangerous line if you fired someone due to their actions in their spare time, even if it could be argued that those actions reflected poorly on your business.
As you can see then, while a legal advisor might be an expensive addition to your business, you will definitely be getting your money’s worth.