An ounce of prevention. Every year around the same time, I get a postcard from my eye doctor’s office, reminding me to schedule my annual eye exam. Annual eye exams are recommended to maintain healthy vision and help safeguard your health and wellness. They help detect potential issues and can prevent serious eye health problems down the line. In the same way that your eyes need a regular check-up, your business also needs a regular check-up to assess its health and help detect and prevent potential issues. Like your eyes, you shouldn’t wait until you’re experiencing issues before you go in for a check-up. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
What’s a business legal check-up? The purpose of the business legal check-up is to assess a business’s health and identify and prioritize action steps designed to improve its health. As a business grows from year-to-year and the business environment around it changes, it’s advisable to perform periodic and regular assessments to gauge how healthy it is relative to the environment that its operating in. Business legal check-ups help business owners stay on top of risks and opportunities and equip their business to better handle whatever comes their way. A business legal check-up is provided by an attorney, who gathers information about the business through interviews, questionnaires, and business documents. The attorney analyzes the information and compiles a report. At the end of the check-up, the business owner receives a report that includes an assessment of the business’s health and recommendations on how to improve business health.
What is the process? The business legal check-up is completed through four basic steps:
- Questionnaire and Document List. The business owner fills in a short questionnaire that asks: (a) basic questions about the business’s current focus and operations (e.g., services provided, types of clients served, stage of business); (b) for identification of any risks or concerns regarding the business; and (c) for any specific outcomes or achievements the business owner expects to take away from the business check-up. Also included is a list of documents that the business owner will be asked to assemble and send in advance of meeting with the attorney. These documents provide context and will help inform the meeting with the attorney.
- Meeting with Attorney (up to 90 minutes). During this meeting, the business owner and attorney discuss the business with respect to various topic areas that include: entity set up; licensing/permits; taxes and bookkeeping; contracts; corporate governance; intellectual property protection; employment law; cyber security and data privacy; insurance; advertising and promotions; insurance; and international dealings (if applicable).
- Assessment Report. After the meeting, the business owner will receive a written assessment report that provides an overview of the business’s health in each of the topic areas reviewed.
- Action Steps and Priorities. The assessment report will include recommended action steps, in order of priority, based on discussions with the business owner and as revealed through the assessment process. The business owner ultimately decides what action steps to take and can engage the firm to help tackle each action step on a project-by-project basis as needed.
Ready for your check-up? You’ve put a lot of time and energy into establishing and growing your business. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you want to set yourself up for success. Getting a business legal check-up can help answer the questions lurking in the back of your mind about whether your business is protected from risk and liability. Are you ready to put your mind at ease? Contact us to schedule a business legal check-up.