Is There a Legal Solution to Your Business Challenge?

Lawyers are trained to help spot issues and find solutions for their clients. Out of interest and obligation in representing a business owner, they want to be helpful and are trained to look at situations to see if there are issues and to find solutions when and before they arise.

Vermont Law School’s Professor Nicole Killoran and Oliver Goodenough presented this webinar on July 27, 2022, for Vermont business owners who want to learn how to spot legal issues in their business.

Lawyers are trained to look at a situation, see if there is an issue and find solutions

Business owners can do this too; when something doesn’t feel right or feels risky, there is often a legal issue they can resolve

Prevention is much cheaper than fixing problems after they happen

Examples of what legal issues might look like in your business:

  1. Business entities
    1. What does your business look like
    2. How to set up within an official legal structure
    3. How liability, funding, and taxes work
  2. Hiring Employees
    1. Creating positions and descriptions
    2. Use of handbooks and contracts 
    3. Vermont’s “at will” employment structure
    4. Overview of hiring practices, unemployment, payroll, implied contracts
    5. Discrimination 
    6. Compliance with employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
  3. Risk Management
    1. Asking the right question if someone or something could get hurt
    2. Overview of the definitions of risk management
    3. Tips about developing and selling products
    4. Overview of waivers, insurance, and limiting liability
  4. Intellectual Property
    1. How this set of laws applies to what you create
    2. Using other people’s materials and intellectual property
    3. Copyright and how it applies to music, written works, art, works for hire, performances
    4. Trademarks and trade names
    5. Patents for new products and processes and when they need to be considered during the invention process
    6. Trade secrets: what they are and how to secure them
    7. Licensing: giving permission to others and getting permission from others
    8. For more about this, watch our webinar about intellectual property: De-Mystifying IP (https://www.youtube.com/3TeMlucdBzs) and IP Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Communities (https://www.youtube.com/JxJ8H6dHhek)
  5. Contracts
    1. Basics of a contract blueprint: what is promised and what work/products are involved
    2. Sets forth understanding between the people involved, how it protects the parties
  6. Finding & Working with a Lawyer
    1. Referral service with the Vermont Bar
    2. Referral through Vermont Law & Graduate School, visit their website for more information: https://www.vermontlaw.edu/cnpp 
    3. Tips for finding lawyers through your networks, professional associations, and online searches
    4. Asking for a free consult for the first meeting with a lawyer 
    5. What duties that lawyers have to serve you: don’t hold back because it is all confidential
    6. Tips on writing questions, involving others in the conversation
    7. Costs: how lawyers work by the hour, by the project, or contingency
    8. Tips on negotiating the working relationship and scope of the work to be done
  7. Resources
    1. List of free programs, information, and DIY resources for Vermont’s small businesses
    2. Business Entity Forms & Requirements (one page)
    3. Presentation slides

This program is funded (in part) through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Funding [in part] through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration