Some Legal Basics For Small Business Owners in Minnesota

Contracts and policies and procedures aren’t the most exciting part of running a business. They might — gasp — even be boring, the sort of thing you find convenient excuses to put off. That’s understandable, but it’s also risky. If you fail to put the necessary legal protections in place, you could find yourself in a complicated and costly situation when a legal dispute pops up. Here are a few steps you can take to help keep your Minnesota business running smoothly.

Know How Your Business Operates

Does your business have multiple owners? If so, a partnership or operating agreement can spell out each owner’s rights and responsibilities. Talking through those details now can help clarify everyone’s expectations and avoid future disagreements caused by misunderstandings or someone’s assumption about what they thought everyone else thought. And if a disagreement does arise, your agreement provides rules and guidelines for how to solve it.

So if you don’t have a partnership or operating agreement, it is a good idea to ask an attorney to help craft one. And if you do have one, consider reviewing it to see if it still fits with the way you run your business today; things change over time, and it may make sense to update your agreement to reflect those changes.

Enforceable Contracts Require Clarity

Contracts define your relationships with customers and vendors. It’s easy to not think about them until a deal is on the table, but that approach often leaves you with a hodge-podge of different contracts with different terms. Ideally, your contracts should be consistent to give you some level of predictability. By preparing standardized contracts in advance, you’ll be better able to keep track of your rights and responsibilities and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Your contracts should fit your business. It may be tempting to use a generic template you found online to create a contract, but relying on generalized language from the internet leaves too much room for misunderstandings and differing interpretations. A knowledgeable business attorney can work with you to tailor your contracts to the way you do business, crafting clear language that protects your interests and reduces the likelihood of a legal fight down the road.

Address Privacy and Data Protection

Now more than ever, customers want to know that your business is taking the necessary steps to protect their private information and safeguarding this sensitive data from unauthorized use. Even small businesses should adopt a formal privacy policy to address the information you are collecting from your customers and how you’ll store and protect it from potential data breaches. Additionally, if your company shares or sells customer information with a third party, you are legally obligated to disclose this to customers in your privacy policy. Consulting with a business attorney is the best way to protect yourself and your business from legal troubles that could arise in the future.

Identify How Your Company Will Handle Legal Disputes

Even if you take all the necessary steps to minimize your legal risk, a dispute may still crop up at any time. By exploring your dispute resolution options long before the need arises, you can take swift and effective action to arrive at a solution. Understanding the benefits of mediation and arbitration can help you decide if they might be better options than courtroom litigation. Building a mediation clause into your contracts, for example, empowers and encourages parties to try to work out their disagreement before jumping into the stress and cost of litigation.


To learn more about how to protect your Minneapolis business, call Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074 to discuss your options with a trusted business law attorney.

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