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Prudent planning can help prevent business disputes

Starting a new business means taking on any number of important tasks before even officially launching the new venture. Structuring the company, setting hiring practices, working with vendors and many other pertinent decisions have to happen up front, which can mean a high propensity for error in the planning process.

As you take on a new business launch in and around St. Louis and O’Fallon, consider some common errors and the steps you can take at the beginning of a venture to prevent their occurrence later on. Doing the legwork now can mean avoiding major litigation or other dispute headaches in the future of the business.

Create a solid foundation

Any new business needs reliable, consistent leadership at the helm to find success. The consistency of the leadership is only as strong as the bonds behind it, though. If you are planning to go into business with one or more other partners, do not skip the essential aspects of business formation and structure.

Even a sole proprietorship needs documented planning to get off the ground. As the number of business owners increases, typically so does the amount of paperwork and planning necessary to establish and maintain the business.

It can be challenging to think of the end of a company when it is just beginning, but it’s important to plan ahead for if/when one owner leaves the business. Create a comprehensive partnership or shareholder agreement that details the plans and expectations for potential developments or dissolution of ownership and assets.

Set guidelines for every person

Personal tensions can derail professional dynamics if no contingency plan exists. Consider the possibility that a fellow owner, future employee or vendor may someday misstep or purposely damage the company. It’s important that the business have a plan in place for dealing with interpersonal and business disputes.

Create human resources guidelines for every person involved with the business. Employees are often the first face seen by customers, so consider the necessary roles and expectations this person needs to meet. Establish and update these guidelines for each person at every level of the business. A dispute could stop in its tracks if a clear, written guideline exists to address the issue before it ends up in a litigious battle.

Planning ahead in business formation may sound easier said than done. As a new business owner, consider seeking additional professional, financial and legal assistance as you plan ahead for or take on a business-related dispute. There is no need to handle it all yourself, so seek the expertise of other in the field to best ensure the future of your business.

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David M. Duree and Associates, P.C.
312 South Lincoln Avenue
O'Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: 618-589-0956
Fax: 618-628-0259
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