Business Law: Common Misconceptions Clarified
As a business lawyer in Brentwood, Brian T. Boyd sees every day how bad information and unfair assumptions can quickly become “fact” in the minds of new entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, as cliché as it sounds, ignorance of the law is not only not an excuse, but it also won’t keep you out of trouble if your business doesn’t balance on the straight and narrow.
Business owners accountable
One of the most misunderstood aspects of owning a business is the matter of culpability. Some business owners very incorrectly assume that if they do something illegal or immoral as part of their business operations that they will not be responsible for their actions. The fact is that no matter how your business is structured, you are ultimately to blame if things are mismanaged.
According to the business lawyer, a Brentwood entrepreneur recently brought up the 2001 Enron scandal and pointed out how accounting firm Arthur Andersen, which was accused of financial fraud and partly the reason that the blue-chip stock went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, suffered very little legal backlash after its irregular accounting procedures were brought to light. Brian T. Boyd says that many laws have changed in the last 18 years, and business owners and other decision-makers are now almost unquestionably held accountable for illegal activities.
Is it illegal if I don’t know the rules?
The legality or illegality of actions does not change simply because you do not understand or have not taken the time to learn business laws. So yes, illegal activities continue to be so even if you aren’t aware that you are breaking the law. According to the business lawyer, Brentwood entrepreneurs have many resources at their disposal that can explain local regulations. The Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and your attorney can all help if you have any questions about a policy or practice.
Anyone can set up a business, but not really
It’s true, says the business lawyer, that Brentwood business owners can handle the paperwork of establishing a business entity on their own. However, problems can arise if things are not done properly. Brian T. Boyd notes that there are many business models, and failure to establish your company according to specific perimeters can result in fines for legal action. Anything more advanced than a sole proprietorship is best handled by a professional that knows how to set things up correctly.
Old dogs, new tricks
Another unfortunately common belief is that because a business has been doing things illegally for X number of years means that it would be too difficult to reorganize to be compliant with the law. This is very far from the truth. As a business lawyer and Brentwood entrepreneur, Brian T. Boyd says that it is not challenging to change things, especially when compared to the laborious and potentially expensive consequence of breaking the law. An experienced business attorney can sit down with you and your team to address any potential concerns and help you rewrite company policies to ensure that you comply with everything from your employment practices to data handling.