Protecting My Company

There are many ways to protect your company and it starts with defining what is most important to your business, as well as what risks must be considered.   To assist you in making the most prudent business decisions, Nexio Law Firm attorneys have created a list of the most common you’ll need to consider to protect your company:

Incorporation

As explained in further detail in our Business Formation page, early decisions have an impact on your business’s chances for success. Creating a separate legal entity – like a LLC or corporation – can shield a business owner from potential liabilities, but it often not as easy as purchasing an entity creation tool over the Internet.  Properly devised and maintained, a corporate setup will not only limit liability, but also govern how the business should run. Complications often arise when multiple owners/managers develop divergent viewpoints, so it’s critical to have a well-thought out and thorough corporate setup, defining every participant’s role and responsibility.  Proper corporate management, usually through defined plans and processes, can help bring those that stray back “into the fold.”

My Company

Contracts

Contracts are used to define the relationship between your company and others.  Written contacts are typically used with vendors, customers, employees, and independent contractors and act like insurance policies. They are unimportant until something goes wrong, at which point most people wish they either had one or they had spent more time reviewing/developing one before signing up. Properly structured, a contract will define everyone’s responsibilities in anticipatable scenarios, and equally importantly, define everyone’s rights and responsibilities if something goes wrong.

Intellectual Property

The nature and quality of a company’s offerings help define a market space and competitive advantage. Protecting a company’s products and services by using intellectual property can help defend that space from others encroaching. A “monopoly-like” protection can be created with the right IP portfolio – the four types of intellectual property are listed below:

  • Copyrights – Copyright law is used to protect creative expression and is often used to protect items like paintings, drawings, photographs, books, songs, plays, computer programs, videos, and movies. It’s a good idea to register a copyright considering it’s a necessary first step to stop others from using your original works without your permission.
  • Trademarks and Trade Dress - Companies typically use Trademark law to protect their brands, logos, and/or the “look and feel” of their product/service offerings. Registering a trademark is important because this creates a public record establishing your company’s rights.  Those rights help you can stand out in the marketplace, by distinguishing you from your competitors in customer’s mind.  
  • Patents – Whether you need to protect ornamental appearance (design patents) or products of great function (utility patents), it is very wise to get a patent. The law provides patents owners the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, importing or selling the invention.
  • Trade Secrets – Trade secrets help protect hidden formulas, processes, designs, patterns, and commercial methods. The Coca-Cola formula is a trade secret and so is Google’s search algorithm. To protect a trade secret, one must take reasonable precautions to ensure that it remains a secret.
My Company

Risk Management - Employees, Regulation, Compliance, and Everything Else

Business is about taking risks.  But it’s not just one set of fixed risks. Your company, the industry, and regulations are constantly evolving.  As the business landscape changes, your company’s exposure to risk will change also. Businesses that tend to be most profitable usually account for and manage risk as part of their regular operations.

Legal compliance is synonymous with risk management. It is prudent to periodically monitor and audit your company’s policies/procedures to avoid stepping in harm’s way. As such, it’s best to stay abreast of the latest employment trends, determining what types of insurance are best for your business’ risk profile, ensuring you are staying up with the latest regulations, particularly as it relates to cybersecurity and data privacy. Whatever the potential risks, it’s far better to be proactive rather than reactive than have to learn this lesson the hard and more expensive way. Periodic legal counseling is an important step toward managing risks.

We’re Here to Help

The attorneys at Nexio Law Firm are committed to helping our clients achieve their objectives. We can be reached at (949) 478-6830 or complete the contact form below and we’ll be in touch soon.