Stick out your tongue. Now say “ahhhhhhh.” If this sounds familiar it’s because the routine of many Americans includes seeing their doctor for regular check-ups. The health and well-being of the individual and the family is of prime importance—so is the health of one’s business. Many entrepreneurs and businesses come upon hard times or fall short. They do so not because they have bad ideas or a poor work ethic. They fail because they don’t have their legal ducks in a row. They haven’t had their regular legal “check-up.”
As a business owner, employee or even someone who just wants to have all of their affairs in order, can you answer all of the following questions positively?:
- Is your business incorporated correctly (i.e. S-Corp, Corp, LLC, LLP, etc.)?
- Are you in strict compliance with all state and federal guidelines?
- Do you have a buy-out or termination clause with your partners?
- Do you have a will and a trust?
- Have you protected your trade secrets?
- Have all your employees signed non-compete agreements?
- Do you have an employee handbook with the requisite company policies and regulations?
- Are your employees 1099 and/or W2? Do you know the difference?
- Is your company status current with the Corporation Commission?
- Is your company protected against litigation?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions then it’s time to say “ahhhhhhhh” to an experienced attorney. Michael Dergo with Dergo Law says that all too often the business clientele who interact with him and his firm do not have all of their legal ducks in a row. “It’s amazing the type of situations that I come across,” Dergo says. “You will find business owners gambling their entire life’s work, their family’s assets, and sometimes their freedom by simply not knowing how to operate in compliance with state and federal guidelines and solid business law practices.”
“So many situations that clients present to us could have been avoided if our team would have had the chance to be involved earlier,” he says. Dergo encourages all business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals to be proactive and protect themselves legally. “I eat right, I exercise, get my sleep, but I also regularly consult with my healthcare professionals to make sure an unforeseen issue is not developing and that my regimen is optimized. I practice preventative medicine. What we do at Dergo Law is practice legal preventative medicine. Unfortunately, we meet many of our clients in the legal ER before we have had the chance to implement our programs. We are always prepared to champion our clients in those dire times. However, we prefer to help them avoid such scenarios whenever possible. I would say the majority of crises, disputes and litigations that we come across in the legal ER could have been avoided with some legal preventative medicine.”