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Company Health Checkup

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Guest Author: Aaron Hall - Feb 2015
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A Checklist To Avoiding Common Legal Pitfalls:     

If you are like most CEOs, you are inspired—and drained—by the energy and activity around your business. You love when your employees use checklists to ensure they avoid problems, so you can focus your creativity and energy on the big stuff.

The power of checklists—for airline pilots, surgeons, and companies—was extolled by Dr. Atul Gawande in his New York Times best seller, The Checklist Manifesto. Now there is a checklist to strengthen your company’s legal foundation. Much like the physical exam you get with your doctor, this checklist examines your business for serious threats to your company’s health.

Common Company Fundamentals

Some legal needs are common among nearly all companies:

  • General Business Law: Companies are governed by people, so they deal with corporate and LLC law.
  • Taxes: Companies earn money, so they deal with tax law.
  • Worker Relationships: Companies have employees, so they deal with employment law.
  • Key Contractual Relationships: Companies buy and sell, so they deal with contract law.
  • Landlord Relationship: Companies have a lease or property, so they deal with real estate law.
  • Intellectual Property: Companies have intellectual property, so they deal with trademark, copyright, or patent law.
  • Litigation: Companies have disputes, so they deal with litigation.
  • Estate Planning & Exit Planning: Companies owners die or leave, so they deal with estate planning and exit planning.

Common legal areas mean companies often encounter the same legal pitfalls. Many of these pitfalls can be prevented.

To help our clients, we made a list of common pitfalls we observed in companies. Then we developed a checklist for company leaders to avoid these pitfalls. The result was Check Your Company Health: A Checklist to Avoid Common Legal Pitfalls. You can download it free at http://ThompsonHall.com/audit/.

Prevention vs. Reaction

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The problem is entrepreneurial companies are frugal and great business attorneys can be expensive. This checklist helps you identify your company’s legal threats and opportunities, so you can prioritize them early on.

One of our clients with 500 employees left a large law firm in Minneapolis. The CEO explained his attorney was great at solving problems but not preventing problems. His company’s neglected issues resulted in massive, costly legal problems.

Sometimes prevention costs nothing if changing your business processes avoids risks.

Next Steps

To avoid common legal pitfalls in your company, download the checklist at http://ThompsonHall.com/audit/. Use this to spot issues to discuss with your attorney.

 

About the Author:

Aaron Hall is CEO and business attorney at Thompson Hall, a business law firm in downtown Minneapolis exclusively designed around building thriving companies. The attorneys help company leaders strategize, solve problems, and grow. Aaron’s bio is available at http://thompsonhall.com/attorneys/aaron-hall/. You can reach Aaron at AHall@ThompsonHall.com or 612-466-0040.

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