Small business owners are essential to Georgia’s local economy. That said, small business owners need to ensure they protect themselves and their company. Sidestepping avoidable legal mistakes is a big part of that mission.

To help guide entrepreneurs and small business owners, Entrepreneur shines the light on common legal mistakes up-and-coming business owners often make. Learning from others’ missteps is most certainly the way to go.

Using the wrong business structure

When first establishing a business, owners have to decide on a structure, such as a partnership, an S corporation or an LLC. Small business owners should be sure to do thorough research regarding the best business type for them and their company. Each structure has its own unique risks and benefits.

Neglecting to develop a privacy policy

Businesses that sell products or wares likely gather information from customers. Such organizations need a policy that breaks down whether they share customer information and how they share it. Customers deserve to know who has access to information such as their legal name and email address. After finalizing a privacy policy, companies must share it with the public.

Failing to establish a terms and conditions policy

Companies need to spell out what terms and conditions customers agree to by utilizing products or services. Such a policy protects the business owner just as much as it does consumers. For instance, a customer may sustain an injury after using a company’s services or products. Should that person decide to take legal action, whether she or he agreed to the terms and conditions policy, could put a quick stop to legal proceedings. Most importantly, business owners need to ensure customers agree to the terms and conditions before buying or using products or services.

Not having the right employee documentation

Small business owners should check to see what forms employees need on file before employees start working. Neglecting to have all necessary paperwork could result in a company shut-down.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners deserve every advantage to succeed. Overcoming common mistakes most certainly improves their chances of fulfilling their business potential.