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Safeguard the intellectual property of your business

Your company is almost certainly part of the information economy, constantly generating mission-critical data, ideas and intellectual property (IP) of all kinds. At the same time, it often appears as if copyrights, trademarks and patents are losing all meaning to much of the public, including a good portion of your pool of employee prospects.

Of course, many of us sign non-disclosure agreements when we join a company, and ask others to do the same, but they can only do so much even in the best of circumstances. What can be done continuously to protect key assets of a 21st century business? A recent article gathered some expert opinion.

It may be in your best interests to use an employment contract

A new team member in your business is always exciting. A previously vacant role being filled means your crew will operate more effectively. A new hire also means there is new potential ready to learn how to operate within your venture. Before their first day, though, you may want to consider an employment contract.

A written employment contract is a signed agreement between the employee and your business. While a written contract of employment is not required, they are commonly used by business owners who want to be thorough or who have invested a lot in new hires. These are a few situations when taking the time to draft an employment contract may be beneficial.

What you need to know when selling your business

There are many reasons you may decide to sell a business. Maybe it is time to retire, you want to move on to the next big idea or you simply want to spend more time with your family. Selling a business can give you the financial push you need to move forward with these lifestyle changes.

However, you must be careful as you prepare to sell your company. Here are some things you may need to know about selling a business.

Protecting trade secrets in the cyber age

In a constantly evolving society, trade secrets are increasingly harder to protect. Businesses rely on trade secrets for maintaining a competitive edge in their industries. However, advancements in digital technology put intellectual property at risk. Trade secret litigation is on the rise, and unfortunately, oftentimes legal action is not quick enough. The result may be disastrous for companies.

Veterans become entrepreneurs at home

Military members develop crucial skills during their time in service including responsibility, determination and leadership. Many military-based skills easily transfer into civilian life as veterans pursue academic studies, employment or personal opportunities.

The combination of skills preached by the military actually create savvy business techniques, so it's not a surprise that more veterans are putting their training into use through personal businesses and franchises.

Protect your business from employee fraud

There’s no shortage of things to do when forming a business. Choosing a location or office, drafting a business plan, picking a business model and securing financing are the big ones to get started, but there are infinite small steps throughout the process that will ultimately guide how successful a business becomes.

Which employees are hired and how they behave is vital to any brand, whether in customer service, business-to-business operations or manufacturing. Employee skills are paramount, but so is their integrity. One bad apple can be costly and it’s up to management to find ways to reduce and respond to unethical behavior.

A safer workplace can help improve your bottom line

Injuries in the workplace can be costly for your business. In the U.S., it’s estimated that employers pay more than $1 billion per week in direct, non-fatal workers’ compensation costs. That’s an alarming figure, and it’s enough to make every business owner ponder how to reduce such an expense.

As it turns out, employers who go above and beyond to exceed safety standards in the workplace could see an increase in profits. By reducing injuries and illnesses, and the workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses and lost productivity that can come along with them, you might see a healthier bottom line.

How small businesses can prepare for a DOL audit

Receiving a notice of an inspection from the Department of Labor (DOL) can be intimidating for a small business. These audits typically arise after a complaint is made by an employee, often due to a wage dispute.

These audits will usually come with little advanced notice, meaning your business may have to quickly scramble to compile proper documentation needed to defend yourself. This makes it critical that you act quickly. Prompt action on your part will better ensure you are able to achieve a more favorable outcome once the audit has been concluded.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH CARE COMPLIANCE: INTRODUCTION

A well-developed compliance plan or program can not only demonstrate any entity's commitment to employing thoroughly qualified staff and executives, but also foster early detection and reporting of problems such as fraud, abuse, or medical error, as well as promote effective communication through all administration and staff.

With the already narrow margins many businesses face, and the fact that civil and criminal liability is a constant threat, entities need to maximize any receivables and work to ensure safe harbor from, penalties, lawsuits or any other threats that could jeopardize their business or personnel. Along those lines, creating and maintain required documentation is vital to the compliance obligations (and financial well-being) of a health care company.

TWO PEAS IN A POD: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & BUSINESS STRATEGY

Are you trying to grow your business? Do you have a strategy in place to protect the ideas that make your business unique?

You and your business are successful for so many reasons. You provide a unique or superior product, or efficient service to your customers, and for that reason, clients consistently come back to you. Your business premise may be simple, and you may assume that developing and protecting Intellectual Property (IP) is of no use or does not provide any additional value to the company.

Contrary to popular belief, IP is a necessity for any thriving business these days. IP encompasses a variety of business and individual protections including Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets. Regardless of the type of business, proper branding and protection of valuable ideas and proprietary information is imperative to survival and long term growth. All businesses possess some form of IP, and business owners need to be equipped with the requisite tools for protection.

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Dallas, TX 75231

Phone: 469-513-1711
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