Posted by lawyerloribrown
I hope everyone has enjoyed my monthly tips over the last year for those who own, or want to own, a small business . I thought as a closing for this series that I would summarize the tips in a one-page document that you can take with you and refer back to when you need a reminder.
First Tip: Create your corporate shield to “shield” you as an individual from liability by creating a corporation or a limited liability company for your business.
Second Tip: Get appropriate business insurance (worker’s compensation, unemployment, business liability, professional liability, health, etc.) and pay taxes.
Third Tip: Do not misclassify your employees as independent contractors; do an analysis of the type of work, supervision, tools/equipment, control, etc. of your “independent contractors” to ensure they have not been misclassified.
Fourth Tip: Know the employment laws that affect your business such as Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), worker’s compensation standards and Arizona state laws.
Fifth Tip: Set written employment policies in an employment handbook, consistently follow your own policies, and train your supervisors on how to implement your company policies.
Sixth Tip: Make sure you are promoting your employee benefits to your company’s advantage and do not forget the benefits that you can offer that do not cost you anything.
Seventh Tip: Make sure you have written contracts that lay out the true terms of the contract and avoid “handshake deals” which can create serious problems for your business if you end up in court.
Eighth Tip: Integrate written social media policies into your workplace such as prohibiting employees’ use of social media at work, employees posting your company’s confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information, etc.
Ninth Tip: Determine if you need a trademark or service mark for your business and if so, register your trademark or service mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain exclusive nationwide ownership of the trademark and the presumption that the trademark is valid over others.
Tenth Tip: Beware of personal guarantees because if you do sign a personal guarantee, you have to be willing to pay on the debt if the main borrower, whether it’s your business or your child, fails to pay.
The information contained herein is general information not legal advice, and does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship with Lori Brown.
Posted in Business Law, contracts, Corporate, Employee Benefits, Employees, employment handbooks, Employment Law, Employment Policies, Guarantees, Independent Contractors, Insurance and Taxes, Intellectual Property, Limited Liability Company, Service Mark, Small Business, Small Business Series, Social Media, Trademark, Training supervisors
Tags: ADA, ADEA, Arizona Corporation Commission, Business, business law, contracts, corporate, Doing business as, employment manuals, employment policies, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT, independent contractor, Insurance and Taxes, intellectual property, Scottdale Employment Law, Scottsdale Business Law, service mark, small business, small business series, social media; employment law;, tips, TITLE VII, Trademark, USPTO
Posted by lawyerloribrown
The next tip for those who own, or want to own, a small business: integrate social media policies into your workplace.
This past year I learned how to use Facebook for business. I had a personal Facebook page for several years but was not an avid user. I heard people talk about using social media for business, but I didn’t understand what that meant. About six months ago, I went to a basic social media class and started a Facebook business page. I learned how to post, use pictures, tag, schedule future posts, use hashtags, etc. Now I post legal tips everyday to my Facebook page and I am slowly building an audience. The idea of a Facebook business page might be old news to some of you and new news to others. The fact of the matter is that a growing business needs to use every avenue available to market and social media seems to be “the” tool to use at the present moment. Social media is also being used to investigate potential employees. It is not uncommon for companies to choose not to hire a potential employee after viewing information posted by or about the employee on social media outlets. And, I am seeing more and more stories about employees being fired due to items posted via social media. Think about what you would do if your employee was posting negative comments about your business while he was at work. Being proactive and adopting and integrating social media polices in your workplace is one way to avoid social media problems.
A lot of workplace rules about social media really are common sense, but they still should be put in writing and reviewed with your employees regularly. Some possible policy considerations include:
- Prohibiting employees’ use of social media at work
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages or material that could damage your company’s image or reputation
- Prohibiting employees from posting your company’s confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages that defame or slander management and co-workers
- Prohibiting employees from posting messages that disparage your company or another company
My rule of thumb is everything that is posted on the internet is public. I tell employees and employers alike not to rely on “privacy” settings because those seem to change regularly. One of the main reasons social media is used is to expand your “reach”. You get your word out by posting and hoping that others “like” and “share” your posts. But, that “reach” could quickly become your enemy if something is posted about your business that is less than favorable. The old school version would be hitting the send button in an email and the next instant realizing that you sent the email to the wrong person, or worse, hit “reply all” when you wanted to only reply to the sender. So go out and use social media to its fullest advantage. But, you also need to keep a close eye on what you and others are posting about your business. And, of course, I invite you to check out and “like” my business page: https://www.facebook.com/BusinessLawyerLoriBrown and I hope the information you find there will be educational and entertaining.
The information contained herein is a business advertisement with general information not legal advice, and does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship with Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PLLC or Lori N. Brown.
Tags: business law, EMPLOYMENT LAWS, employment manuals, employment policies, Lawyer, Scottdale Employment Law, Scottsdale Business Law, Scottsdale Lawyer, small business, small business series, social media; employment law;