Russ Cook & Associates, PC

Small businesses face big legal challenges

Did you know that small businesses in Tennessee added workers faster than any other state in 2017? This is according to data from Paychex, a national payroll provider. The data show that small businesses grew by 2 percent during 2017 in this state.

If you are a small business employer in this environment, then you are likely quite pleased with this growth. However, you might also be dealing with some growing pains if you are expanding your workforce.

  1. Getting set up-Setting up a business to begin with is a difficult process. You must think about what type of entity you will form, how you will operate and what type of budget you need to have. 
  2. Providing the right benefits for workers-Hiring workers is a major decision for small business owners, as is providing the right benefits. The number of employees you hire will affect the benefits you must provide, so it is crucial to think about this when you are starting up or when you increase the size of your business.
  3. Formalizing agreements-Growing can mean partnering with more people. You may have franchisees, commercial landlords, vendors, contractors and other parties who become part of your operation. As such, you will need to have enforceable, valid contracts that define the appropriate responsibilities and expectations. Some people make the mistake of working off informal agreements when they are starting up, and that can ultimately come back to haunt one or both parties.

Growth is an exciting opportunity for small business owners, but it also demands a careful assessment of your operations and practices. If you are adding to your workforce this year, or if you are starting a brand new business, then there are legal requirements and obligations you need to consider. To cover your bases and stay focused on running your business, you can consult an attorney who can manage these matters for you.

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