Starting a new business typically involves excitement and optimism. You have a vision of how your business will grow over time, and a bitter legal dispute is definitely not a component of this dream. Unfortunately, business disputes do arise, especially if important protections were not taken earlier to prevent such friction. Whether you run an established business or you are just starting out, it’s worth taking a look at three common issues that may end up in litigation, as well as some strategies for heading them off before they erupt.
1. Breach of Contract
As you know, businesses rely on contracts to function. Should one party claim that another party violated the terms of a contract or agreement in some way, they may take legal action. A material breach occurs when the alleged breach is significant enough to render the entire agreement broken beyond repair. There are also cases involving a partial breach, meaning that only certain aspects of the agreement have been affected. If you have reason to suspect that the other party may violate the contract in the near future, you may sue them for anticipatory breach, although this may be difficult to prove. Many disputes involving breach of contract can be avoided through the use of carefully and clearly written contracts. Reach out to a trusted business law attorney to ensure that the contracts your business uses sufficiently protect your best interests.
2. Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Businesses run by two or more people naturally encounter disagreements from time to time. However, should these disputes escalate, mediation or litigation may become necessary in order to obtain a resolution. Perhaps business partners find themselves locked in a dispute over how to run the company, which interferes with the business’ ability to run smoothly. Or, perhaps shareholders voice their concerns about how the business owners are running the company. These issues can sometimes be resolved through mediation; however, such disputes may grow intense and heated quickly, requiring litigation in order to reach a conclusion.
3. Copyright & Trademark Infringement
Businesses often have a logo or slogan that differentiates their services from those of their competitors. If you’ve taken the necessary steps to trademark your business logo or image and you come across another business that is using your trademark without your permission, you may elect to take legal action against them. You may also discover that an artistic work you’ve copyrighted is being used without your permission on a website or in some way by another party. Or, perhaps another company has accused your business of copyright or trademark infringement, and you are unsure of what steps you should take. In any situation involving intellectual property rights, it’s best to contact an experienced IP law attorney who can help you determine your best course of action.
Seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable business law attorney is highly recommended, especially as a protective measure against future conflicts. Whether you need immediate representation in an imminent business litigation matter or you simply want to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to protect your business from legal disputes later on, Rubric Legal LLC is here to help. Call our Minneapolis office today at (612) 465-0074 to get started with a friendly business law attorney.