As a law firm, we are where people find a solution to some of their most pressing and complex issues. Jokes and cliches aside, most attorneys genuinely love being able to help others. One of the biggest challenges we face is when clients come to us too late and, they are past the point where we could have intervened on their behalf. This is why we wanted to discuss the importance of having a proactive mindset, especially regarding business law issues. Not only are you putting us (or your attorney) in a better position to assist you, but being proactive saves you time, stress, and money.
What Does It Mean to Be Proactive?
If you have read our guide, The Danger Zones, you have firsthand knowledge of how strongly we encourage people to be proactive. For instance, our fourth “danger zone” is protecting your intellectual property.
“Registering a trademark can cost as little as just over a thousand dollars. Litigating over the trademark, you neglected to register will cost tens of thousands…To avoid that situation, we recommend filing for trademark registration as soon as you first use the mark…”
All the components of our argument exist in that excerpt. By failing to register a mark, you are putting yourself at risk. When another company from another state begins using your mark and sends you a cease and desist letter, is it too late? It very well could be. As badly as we want to defend you and your business, you have opened the door to a problem you could have closed the moment you began using your mark.
Although you could lose tens of thousands on litigation, you are losing the time, money, and effort you spent building a brand. If your logo has any meaning behind it, it is because you invested your efforts to establish one. Although we used an example of intellectual property to highlight the need for being proactive, this mindset applies to everything you may face as a business owner. Proactivity can apply disputes with your employees and vendors, lawsuits, choosing a business entity, and contracts.
What Does Being Proactive Look Like?
Place yourself in the best position by being proactive. Consider the business owner who shuts down their restaurant to renovate the kitchen. Though this next part is an intentional (but not impossible!) exaggeration, it still proves our point: You choose to take a vacation during the remodel. When you return, your restaurant is the same way you left it, and nothing has been done. You have lost out on a week of business, and the contractor is not answering your calls even though you put down a 20% deposit on the work. This is what a proactive business owner would have done:
- Met with a Business Law attorney before hiring a contractor for the renovations
- Have the attorney draft a legal and enforceable contract that sets the terms and conditions, indicate the expectations of both parties and identifies consequences for any future breaches
- Save all the correspondence (e.g., emails, calls, texts, etc.)
The proactive restaurant owner would have contacted their attorney the first day the contractor failed to arrive or uphold their end of the contract.
Predict the Future with Trembly Law
Whereas you never know whether the other party will adhere to the agreement, you still have a written contract that identifies what happens if they don’t. This is what we mean when discussing ‘knowing the future before it happens’. Talk to us before an issue arises or as soon as one develops. It gives us the ability to defend you in the way you deserve. Trembly Law Firm would be proud to assist you with business, franchise, or employment law matters. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation.