Commonly Overlooked Legal Mistakes

The last thing you want to do when starting a business is make legal mistakes. Entrepreneur has highlighted a few of this mistakes you should avoid.

Making handshake deals with clients and vendors.
Always put your business dealings in writing. Don’t naively assume that everything will go according to plan. “This is often not the case, and when things go wrong, the entrepreneur and the client or vendor may have different ideas about what is supposed to happen,” says Rachel Rodgers, principal attorney with Rachel Rodgers Law Office in Phoenix, Ariz.

Choosing the wrong business structure.
Whether you choose sole proprietorship, S-Corp, or limited liability company (LLC), making a hasty choice can put your business at risk, and lead to painful tax bills at the end of the year.

Establishing a 50-50 partnership.
In theory, this sounds great, but ultimately when issues arise — like whether to bring on new investors — somebody has to be able to make an executive decision. If you deadlock on a major decision and nobody budges, the company is frozen in limbo unless one of you buys out the other. “It’s very difficult for human beings to decide how to divide things up after there is something to divide up,” Moore adds.

Photo by Zach Taylor

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