Protection of Business Interests: 5 Ways to Prevent Potential Harm
Prevention. Prevention. Prevention. Whether it’s setting up a new business or taking steps to reassess and get ahead of the curve, proactive protections can be invaluable to preventing problems before they arise. As a firm that works with clients on both a proactive and responsive basis in matters involving business law and business litigation, our team at Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C. knows a front-footed approach can make all the difference down the road.
Companies, partners, shareholders, and small-business owners all have rights and available measures for protecting business interests. From confidential client information and intellectual property to, tangible assets, trade secrets, and the bottom line – businesses have a lot to lose, and so much to protect. In Texas, the most valuable assets are one’s shielded by proper protections and enforceable agreements – all of which need to be tailored to your specific objectives and circumstances.
A few important protections that can reduce risks and prevent potential harm include:
1. Entity Selection
Business formation is where it all begins, and selecting the most appropriate entity can be one of the most important aspects of preventing future threats to the interests of your company. That includes leveraging limited liability as a means to protect assets partition personal and business obligations and property, as well as operational structures that correspond with the capitalization and circumstantial needs of your particular endeavor.
An experienced attorney can help you sort through the sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and series LLCs, and other corporate and non-corporate structures to determine what’s most appropriate and protective for your business.
2. Intellectual Property / Trade Secret Protections
Settling on a name or a logo is a matter of more than just personal preference. It also requires due diligence to ensure your intellectual property, intangible assets, and identity of your business are properly protected. Your attorney can help you evaluate not only trademarks and copyrights of uniquely identifiable works, products, or services your business may have in the marketplace, but also the use of certain employment contracts and restrictive agreements against threats from within.
Non-competes, non-solicitation agreements, and confidentiality agreements, licensing or technology development agreements, and work-for-hire agreements, among others. Should infringement or trade secret misappropriation occur down the line, the proactive measures you took could prove invaluable.
3. The Right Governing Documents
Whether it’s forming a new start-up, weathering a merger and acquisition, or restructuring a business, the right governing documents are essential. That includes creating clearly defined and carefully constructed documents, forms, and agreements that can prevent disputes, and provide rights to protect your business interests should disagreements arise, such as:
- Certificates of formation outlining powers and objectives;
- Corporate bylaws which clarify and control management, dividends, and procedural rules;
- Shareholder / partnership agreements that define rights, obligations, ownership, and privileges of company leadership, and provide protections, options, and grounds for enforcement should problematic issues arise.
- Compliance plans, internal policies, recordkeeping, and other important operating agreements.
4. Clear & Enforceable Agreements
Drafting clear and enforceable contracts pertinent to your business interests can act as shield and sword in many scenarios. Work with an attorney when considering the most important agreements which can protect your assets, prevent disputes, and provide options for enforcement. Examples include:
- Buy-sell agreements which address valuation method, ownership limitations, sale conditions and other important considerations in the event of shake-ups.
- Non-Competes, also known as non-competition agreements or covenants not to compete, which require mutual agreements on certain restrictions in employment relationships, from executives to all other types of employees and employment relationships.
- Confidentiality / NDAs, or non-disclosure agreements, which are contractual protections used to protect your confidential information.
- Partnership / Shareholder Agreements
5. Industry-Specific Considerations
- Tech industry considerations, including intellectual property agreements, privacy and electronic communication policies, and licensing or technology development agreements.
- Health care and medical law matters when starting a medical practice, creating physician employment agreements and physician non-competes, and addressing issues such as Texas’ prohibition of the corporate practice of medicine, licensing, credentialing, medical asset and equipment acquisition and compliance with health care fraud regulations.
- Franchise agreements which address reporting and disclosures, royalties, fees, and other aspects of a business franchise.
- Construction law and construction arbitration issues which address potential areas of dispute in construction contracts, such as delayed performance, defective work, payment disputes, change orders and extra work, and more.
- Oil & Gas law and farm-out agreements
- OSHA regulations and comprehensive compliance plans that ensure regulatory compliance with company- and industry-specific workplace health and safety laws
- Company-specific agreements that address employment relationships, transactions, taxation, and insurance issues unique to your business, from executive or physician non-competes, work-for-hire agreements, and independent contractor agreements to real estate development, stock purchase agreements, management and licensing agreements, and more.
Houston Business Lawyers With the Experience to Protect Your Interests
There are many ways to protect your business interests, but what’s right for your business is a matter that requires in-depth and personalized evaluation. With nationally recognized attorneys trusted by a range of businesses, business owners, and individuals across Texas and beyond, our legal team at Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C. takes a comprehensive approach to proactively advising and working with our clients, and has the experience and resources strategic support requires. When you work with us, your interests become ours.
Trust a team of proven Texas business attorneys with your most important needs, and discuss how Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C. can help provide the proactive counsel you need to protect what matters most. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online.