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Cleburne Legal Blog

Collecting debt the right way is good for business

As a small business owner, collecting money people owe you is a part of doing business. In many cases, people will simply pay what they owe without issue, but there are times you will have to deal with difficult customers who refuse to pay for services rendered or products received.

In cases in which there is a dispute over owed balances and collections, you may find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of how you can protect your rights as a business owner. You have the right to take appropriate measures to secure the money owed to you, but it is prudent to know what you can and cannot do as you undertake this effort. Many Texas business owners find it beneficial to seek legal guidance as they pursue a beneficial solution for collections disputes.

Have you considered creating a partnership agreement?

Starting a business in Texas can be an exciting endeavor. Perhaps you have had your idea for as long as you can remember, and now that the time has come to bring your business dreams into reality, you likely cannot wait to get started. Additionally, your future business partner or partners may also share in your enthusiasm and feel ready to get the ball rolling on your future success.

Though you and your partners may have known each other for years -- or perhaps even since childhood -- you may not want to move forward with creating a business partnership simply on the basis of friendship. Some form of legal understanding needs to exist in order for each person to know what to expect from the partnership as well as to keep each party accountable. Therefore, you may wish to consider creating a partnership agreement.

Mechanic's lien can be complex but effective

In your business, you can't take for granted timely payment. When you have employees, suppliers and you own bills to pay, waiting for a contractor or property owner to compensate you for the work you have finished can be frustrating and damaging to your business. You may know that you have the right to file a mechanic's lien if a customer doesn't pay within a certain amount of time. However, the process may seem complicated and time-consuming.

That's because it is. Nevertheless, a mechanic's lien may be your best advantage to getting payment that you deserve for the work you have done. While you may be able to access online services to attempt to file a lien, the complex nature of the process means you are taking risks with your company that you may not be able to afford.

Could your business benefit from a non-compete agreement?

Having a valued team can help any business successfully go through its daily operations and work to meet future goals. Of course, as the business owner, you want to ensure that any team members you have will protect important company information and not damage business operations should they choose to leave the company. Though this task may seem difficult, you may have the ability to create safeguards.

In particular, you may want to ensure that any business competitors cannot obtain business information from your company should a former employee of yours choose to work for a similar company. As a result, you may choose to create a non-compete agreement in hopes of protecting your company's best interests.

Make no dispute: Contract disagreements can hurt your bottom line

As a Texas business owner, you likely use contracts as an integral part of your overall business structure and regular transactions. From the signed agreements you may have with your employees to deals you set in writing with other companies, signing your name on the dotted line is probably quite familiar to you. Hopefully, you know enough about contracts to understand their importance in relation to your bottom line interests. Put another way, contracts gone bad can do a lot of damage to your business.

Therefore, like most savvy business owners, you do your best to make sure you clearly understand all terminology, obligations and responsibilities contained within a proposed agreement before you add your signature. Even then, problems may arise down the line that bring the validity of a certain deal into question. This is where a notary public can be a great asset.

Important HR needs in your business

As your business continues to grow and you hire more employees, you are likely finding yourself taking on more roles within the business, particularly the role of the human resources representative. Whether you hire someone for this position or manage the department yourself, much of what HR does is preventative, from the interview process through the completion of separation surveys.

It may seem overwhelming, but through HR proactivity, your employees know their rights and responsibilities, and you have clear guidelines within which to act. Therefore, it may benefit you to take a close look at your HR department to ensure there are no gaps or oversights that may come back to bite you in the event of a dispute or accusation.

What mediation can do for your small business

If you own and operate your small business for any length of time, you will more than likely end up in a dispute with another business, a vendor or a customer. In many cases, the dispute can be resolved with minimum fuss.

In other cases, however, the dispute seems to only grow and fester. You or the other party involved may begin talking about litigation as a way to resolve the issue. Fortunately, there is another option that could work out better for all of the parties involved: mediation.

How important is your business model?

In Texas and throughout the nation, entrepreneurship is the wave of the future. In fact, many people are choosing to forgo post-secondary education in favor of stepping right out into the deep to give their business-related dreams a try. Some people are better prepared to launch such ventures than others. Creating a successful business may be your current dream, or, are you one of the lucky ones who has already brought your dream to fruition? Either way, you're likely familiar with the topic of choosing a business model.

If someone asked you to rate choosing a business model on a scale of importance with one being insignificant and unnecessary and 10 being absolutely crucial to entrepreneurial success, how would you score it? Hopefully, it would score high.

Do I need a contract for new hires?

The success of your business is something for which you have worked hard. However, with more business comes added responsibility. Among those responsibilities may be hiring more employees to learn about your brand or your particular way of offering a service.

Bringing new workers into the company may also bring questions about protecting your brand, preventing misunderstandings and reducing the possibility of legal trouble. Perhaps you are considering implementing an employee contract to accomplish these goals.

Protect business interests when a special someone is interested

If you worked long and hard to build a business in Texas, you most likely understand how crucial it is to protect your interests. Like other business owners, you live a dual life. There's your professional side, and then there's your personal life. Building, launching and sustaining a business takes a lot of time. Many business owners will tell you they don't have much time for private lives, but most try to fit a little rest and relaxation into their schedules from time to time.

Perhaps you were able to do so and finally met that special someone. Maybe you were even lucky enough to find a partner who fully supports your entrepreneurial efforts and is willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to help keep your business afloat. As the two of you consider marriage, you might want to think ahead and be as prepared as possible for any curve ball life may throw at you one, five or 10 years from now.

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Cain & Associates
508 N Ridgeway Dr.
Cleburne, TX 76033

Local: 817-506-3233
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