Jerry J. Goldstein

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Hire A Company Operations Attorney For Legal Assistance

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, there are nearly 500,000 new business, trust and related entities applications with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) each month.

Notwithstanding the myriad startup businesses, those embarking on a new venture as first-time entrepreneurs should be aware of the many pitfalls that may await them, as many new businesses fail within the first two years. As you begin your journey into business ownership, make sure you prepare to execute contracts, agreements and other binding legal documents that will help protect you against disputes and breaches of obligations. If you are already in business, make sure you have everything you need in writing to have optimal protection and enforceable contracts.

I am Jerry Goldstein, and I can help you run a smooth and error-free operation with general counsel services for startups as well as those with existing businesses. At the Law Offices of Jerry J. Goldstein in Palm Desert, I provide experience and insightful business operation guidance for clients throughout San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

A small business is defined as any business with fewer than 500 employees. Unless those 400,000-plus new businesses are being launched as subsidiaries of larger corporations, it is unlikely that many of them envision that kind of employee load. Even if it is just a new mom and pop operation, a small partnership or a sole proprietorship, a new venture faces many hurdles.

Different experts and websites categorize the pitfalls facing new businesses in different ways, but most agree that it is a mistake to go it alone, relying on your gut instincts or preconceived notions of what will or will not work.

To increase your chances of success in your new business, you will need the advice and shared experiences of others, not only from those specific to your field but also those relating to business operations in general. There may be nothing more important than receiving proper legal counsel and all of the appropriate legal documents you need to protect yourself and increase the prospects for the success of your venture.

Contracts And Agreements For Smooth Operations

Even in a sole proprietorship, you are going to have business dealings with others – suppliers, landlords, employees, customers, vendors or government agencies. All of these relationships are going to require legal documentation to protect yourself, your business and your assets. Here are some documents that have a significant impact:

Partnership Agreement

If you’re going into business with a partner – or partners – you must have a written agreement that spells out everyone’s duties and obligations – who does what, how will debt and profit be split, what happens in the event of a breakup, death or possibly divorce, etc. The agreement should also dictate steps to take when a dispute erupts – should a vote be taken, should you litigate the matter or should you refer the dispute to a mediator or arbitrator?

Real Property And Equipment Leases

Get these reviewed by an experienced business attorney before you assume onerous terms and obligations. Acceptance of the lease, term, rental payments, security deposit, ownership, the responsibility of care, insurance, taxes and fees, liability for loss and damage – all need to be addressed.

Vendor Agreements

If your business relies on a supply of products or services from others, you need to lock them into airtight agreements, generally through a contract that states both their obligations and yours – delivery dates, payment dates and more. The last thing you want to do is to open up shop one fine day and discover that you have nothing to sell because a vendor let you down.

Marketing And Sales Agreements

The same holds true if you rely on others to do the marketing and sales for you. You will need to lock them into terms that benefit both parties and protect you against nonperformance. Sales and marketing goals should be clearly stated.

Confidentiality And Nondisclosure Agreements

You will want to protect your intellectual property and trade secrets, including a specialized form of marketing or a customer list. Get employees and others to sign confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. You may also consider noncompete agreements, but these are difficult to enforce in California except in connection with the sale of a business.

Employment Agreements

Perhaps one of the biggest – if not the most aggravating – pitfalls businesses can face are employees who will not properly do their job or who cause ripples in the operation through their attitude. California employment is “at will.” Specify any agreement you have with your employees or spell it out carefully along with all other pertinent policies in your job applications and employee handbook.

What Are The Key Aspects Of Setting Up Efficient Company Operations?

Efficient company operations begin with making a plan and sticking to your business plan. It is critical to put everything in writing and to utilize the latest technology as much as possible. Your business plan should also include preparing to delegate financial concerns, tax matters and legal issues to trusted professionals for efficient and accurate results.

How Can I Streamline Inventory Management For My New Business?

Inventory management can seem tedious, but it is critical to prioritize monitoring your inventory on a daily basis. There is an ever-increasing number of software applications available for tracking inventory and streamlining the process. If you are unable to afford updates to your business’s technology at this time, it is still vital to choose a manual system to watch for low and high levels of product, establish current product values and reach out to your suppliers regularly.

What Steps Should I Take To Optimize Financial Processes For My Startup?

Organize a system for labeling the various financial processes your business requires for operation. Create a list of real-time products and vendors and how payments will occur. For example, determine if you will use and receive purchase orders, credit card payments, checks, cash or online payment systems. Ideally, you will have a software system for tracking the details of your financial processes.

What Are The Best Practices For Ensuring Smooth Day-To-Day Business Operations?

Whether you have an ongoing business or are in the beginning stages, it is important to review the legal instruments by which you operate, including contracts and agreements of all types. If they have not been put into writing, the time is now to do so. If your contracts are in writing, be aware that state and federal regulations are continually subject to updates. Revisit those contracts and prepare to make revisions as soon as possible.

How Can I Build A Strong Team And Culture To Support My New Business’s Operations?

Regular and transparent communication with all team members – employees, vendors and customers – is foundational for creating and maintaining a vibrant team and culture. Clearly share successes often and be real about opportunities for improvement. Express your gratitude. Say “thank you” often and write encouraging notes or emails to team members. Celebrate successes with open houses. Provide informational workshops for your clients. Organize events outside of the work atmosphere for your employees to have some fun together. Take a hike or go ziplining, for example.

Get Skilled Guidance For Your Company Operations

Whatever your ongoing or starting-up needs are for your business operations, you can turn with confidence to me at the Law Offices of Jerry J. Goldstein for counsel and help. I am ready to provide the guidance you need. Send an online inquiry or call my office in Palm Desert at 760-359-2233 for a case consultation.