January 13, 2019


You popped the champagne and made some personal resolutions for 2019. As you close the books on 2018, consider making some 2019 resolutions for your business. Here are some resolutions that you may want to consider implementing this January and that may lead to business success over the upcoming year.

Get Your Deals on Paper.

Doing business on a handshake seems easy -- until it isn't.  Make a plan to draft contracts for your new business deals this year. Recording key terms, as well as any disclaimers, indemnities, warranties, and other provisions, may protect your company if a dispute arises.

Take Stock of Your Intellectual Property.

Create a list of all of your intellectual property and strive to update it each January. Jot down new product names, logos, slogans, copyrightable content, and patentable inventions. It helps to create action items and deadlines to register your trademarks and other intellectual property. Having a good list of your intellectual property will help you police infringement and, if you're looking to sell your business, may add tremendous value.

Review Your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Every website and mobile application should have a Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Chances are you put these online and then forgot about them. If your website or app has changed, your Terms and Privacy Policy should be updated. The FTC has brought actions against websites with inaccurate privacy policies, so make sure yours is up to date.

Survey Your Employment Landscape.

If you have employees and independent contractors, you should take some time evaluating their personnel files. Do you have a good record of everything they've signed, including NDAs and IP assignment agreements? Have their job functions changed? If so, has this affected their FLSA exemption status? If your employees are hourly, are you keeping good time card records?

Keep Your Corporation Corporate.

A corporation may be useful for limiting the personal liability of its owners. Many people don't know that this protection isn't automatic. Plaintiffs and creditors can still get at your personal assets by asking a court to "pierce the corporate veil.” This most often occurs when the corporation's owners disregard corporate formalities or comingle money. You should consult with a lawyer regarding your corporate compliance policies.

For more information about the above resolutions, and for other suggested resolutions, please feel free to contact Jared Stark at Jared@starkweber.com