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There are quite a few problems that everyone starting a small business will have to deal with. As the owner of this small business, you are responsible for making decisions and answering these problems. It’s important to make sure that you reach out to a lawyer to help sort through these necessary legal tasks before they escalate into large problems.

5 Common Business Legal Issues

Starting a small business is hard work, no matter which industry you choose. At these early stages, it is important for new business owners to have a detailed business plan, especially pertaining to finances. 

Your budget is one of the most important parts of your business plan, as it will help you make difficult financial choices.

Due to tight resources at the start, many new business owners choose not hire a lawyer. This may seem like a good idea at the beginning of your venture, but it can actually end up costing you more in the long run.

When first starting out, there are a few common legal issues that you may run into.


In order to operate a business, you will need to have a business license. The cost of obtaining this license will vary depending on where your business operates, but you will need to have one to operate. Forgoing this important legal matter can lead you to facing fees down the line. To avoid these fines, it is recommended to reach out to your lawyer to get your licensing needs squared away early.


Trademarks is an issue that, surprisingly, many businesses face. Typically, before starting a business you choose a name for that business. However, you’ll need to do research before finalizing a name, renaming your business, or launching new products/services. There’s always the chance that someone else has already thought of your desired name before you did, and it’s probable that it has already been trademarked. Trademark infringement is not a legal issue that your business will want to face.


Classification of employees is important for all businesses. The Federal Department of Labor takes this classification seriously, so it’s best to ensure that you are following all federal guidelines. Each state, even here in Rhode Island, has their own guidelines on whether to classify an employee as an employee or an independent contractor.

Employee RIghts

Employee rights can range from overtime pay to termination to how many breaks they receive throughout their shift. Taking precautions before hiring anyone will save you money and time in the future. To do this, you will need to clearly spell out the terms of employment in your employee manual. This can is helpful as it provides you with financial control and clearly indicates all disciplinary actions for your employee while also saving you from potential legal trouble.

Getting started

When starting a business, it is important to be aware of all legal documents that you need to have in place to start. It may appear overwhelming at the start, but contacting a lawyer to help you navigate them will be beneficial in the long run and save you money.

Starting a business and looking for help navigating these common legal issues? McCormick Law is committed to providing straightforward and high-quality legal guidance to all businesses in Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts.