PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS
Business owners put everything on the line when deciding to turn their business dream into a reality. As a result, without the proper planning and legal protections in place, they risk losing everything for which they’ve worked so hard. Our small business and startup attorneys will advise you on the most effective ways to protect and defend all things related to your new business—from new ideas to your personal assets.
It is important for new business owners to build and grow a valuable identity within their particular market through a unique brand name and logo(s). Conducting a comprehensive trademark search is a necessary first step to avoid unknowingly infringing on another’s trademark, which can have very costly consequences for business owners. From there, federal trademark registration is essential to obtain maximum legal protection for your own brand.
Confidentiality, non-solicitation, and noncompete agreements clarify what information and materials a business deem to be proprietary and confidential. They also set out the obligations upon employees to protect and preserve such information and material and include the employer’s remedy if and when an employee breaches one of the agreements. The rules vary from state to state and it is very important to discuss the applicable laws with an attorney to ensure such agreements are properly drafted and enforceable.
In general, a “trade secret” may consist of “any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one’s business, and which provides an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.” Carelessness in protecting trade secrets may jeopardize its status and protection under the law.
Your business’s name is the first impression made on potential customers. It can reflect your business’s identity and brand, and therefore choosing an appropriate name is a critical first step when forming a new business. Business owners need to not only choose a name they will be comfortable with for the indefinite future, but they must also take steps to ensure they are legally permitted to do business under that name and, if so, that its protected for the long term.