Legal Health for Small Business: Schedule a Checkup TodayFebruary 4, 2012 by: L. Hinkle
Is your business built on a firm foundation of legal compliance? Are you protecting yourself from potential legal threats that could cripple or kill your business? Or are you just hoping for the best that your compliance is in place because you behave fairly ethically and that is enough? You need a business legal health checkup.
Operating within ethical principles that are well defined help businesses to also comply with the law, though there are also legal requirements on businesses that are necessarily grounded in moral concerns. The decision on if you will comply with the law, how you will comply with the law and what principles guide your diligence in knowing what the law requires is one based on the ethical principles of your business.
In “The Power of Ethical Management”, Norman Vincent Peale and Kenneth Blanchard recommend three questions that managers/entrepreneurs/business owners should ask themselves when faced with an ethical dilemma:
- Is it legal? This is where your small business lawyer can be most helpful. We may not know the answer to this question immediately depending on the complexity of the issue, but we have the resources and training to research the answer and give you not only the actual legal requirements, but sometimes how they have been applied by judges.
- Is it balanced? This question goes to the fairness, both long and short term, to all the people involved. We, as your lawyer, can also help you sort through these practical issues and come up with a solution that marries legality and balance.
- Is it right? Would you be proud of yourself for making this decision? Although this is a decision that you alone can make, that is based on your personal moral code, as your lawyer we can help you to create clear, written statements of ethical principles as part of your business plan that will help you measure this. We also attempt to become so knowledgeable about who you are and where you are going that we can help connect you with resources to help explore this question that are appropriate to your unique circumstances.
Having a lawyer on retainer is essential for small businesses. Big business have lawyers on staff that can answer the legal questions 24 hours a day, but sometimes, as we have seen with the Enron scandal and so many other failures of big business in the last few years, that advice has been more about how to get away with things than how to make decisions that have lasting, long term value and are based in ethical management of resources, people, and the core values of the business. We are a small firm that can dedicate itself to not just giving you short term answers, but help you plan ethically, within your own code of values and goals, for the growth of a business you can be proud to own and manage.
We offer a one hour business legal health consultation for small businesses to help identify potential legal issues and indicate how we can help you to grow. The cost of the consultation is $300, which includes the one hour consultation and a follow up memorandum (available within one week of the consult) that will give you a legal action plan that will include things we can do for you as well as things you can do for yourself to provide a powerful, legal foundation to your business. This is something that helps new businesses that are starting up as well as businesses that are growing, have already grown and are going through changes, or any business that has neglected its legal health and needs review.
Please call our office at 856 227 7888 to set up a consult with Lynda L. Hinkle, Esq. and get your business’s legal health checkup scheduled.