3 Legal Mistakes Made by Businesses in the Retail Market

Building a successful business in 2020 requires you to fight on many fronts. From beating the competition to dealing with legal issues related to retail, you must give your 100%. You can easily manage successful marketing campaigns, product campaigns, and great customer support services. When it comes to legal business matters, many businesses make mistakes.

Legal Matters in Retail Business

Like any other sector of life, authorities and governments require you to be legally accountable for your actions. No one would ever like to get involved in legal issues with any party.

Whether it is about the legal claim from the competitor or claim from your clients, you will have to be well-prepared to deal with all legal requirements.

Legal Matters in Retail Business

For every business, company, and brand, there are some rules and regulations. These legal boundaries are created for the protection of your business and other parties associated with your business.

These legal matters also protect your business in hard times.

entrepreneurs and passionate business owners paying attention to legal matters

Most of the entrepreneurs and passionate business owners don’t pay attention to legal matters, and they make business legal mistakes.

There is a long list of legal mistakes made by businesses, but here in this article, we will discuss the top 3 legal mistakes made.

Legal Mistakes Made by Businesses

You should avoid legal troubles at every cost. Dealing with legal mistakes can cost you a fortune, and many legal proceedings can take years for completion.

Several lethal legal mistakes can sink a whole business.

Here are the top 3 legal mistakes by businesses that you must avoid at any cost in your services and dealings.

1. Filing the Business Inaccurately

Filing your business - legal mistake made by businesses
Filing your business

There are different business entities that you can select to file your business legally. Every option has pros and cons for businesses.

You can register your retail business as a sole proprietorship, C corp, S corp, and Limited Liability Company.

You must be aware of the right business entity for your business type, as filing your business under the wrong category can get you in legal trouble.

If you want to file your business under sole proprietorship, you must be aware of all facts and legal requirements related to this business entity.

Filing your business under sole proprietorship is a cheap and easy process. But if your business does not make it to the desired goals, you may end up losing all the assets.

Many startups and retail businesses also choose to operate their business under DBA “doing business as”.

If you are the only owner of the business or a partner in the business, you can register your business under DBA, and the name of the business can be different from the personal name.

There are some restrictions and limitations in every business entity. The wrong choice of the business entity will hurt your business and marketing campaigns.

If you are not sure that which business entity is suitable for your business, you can always consult with a lawyer. Legal experts with knowledge of the retail business can avoid many legal mistakes by businesses.

2. Trying to “DIY” Critical Legal Matters & Avoiding Hiring a Legal Attorney

Legal mistake made by businesses - not hiring a lawyer and doing legal issues on their own
Why should I waste money on hiring a legal expert?

Hiring a legal attorney is an expensive deal, and many startups may want to avoid this expense. Almost every stabilized business has a complete team of legal experts who can protect them on different fronts.

For startups and small businesses, hiring a full-time legal team may not be a viable option.

At some point, you might feel that you can deal with legal matters on your own. If you are also having the same thoughts, then you need to hold your horses.

Google has the answer to every question, so why should I waste money on hiring a legal expert?

You know that legal experts spend a minimum of three years to get a law degree and practice for years to fight legal matters. Do you think Google can replace a human legal expert?

No, it will be a mistake. Every business has some complexities and legal complications that Google cannot answer.

From drawing employment policies to having succession plans, a legal attorney is a must for retail business. Even for the copyright protection of your brand name and logo, you need legal assistance.

You will be conducting business deals and contracts with several other businesses, too, and for that, a legal attorney can help you to keep you away from many conflicts. Legal attorneys can draft craft a contract that protects your business from being scammed.

When you try to deal with these legal matters on your own, you end up being played by other parties.

These legal matters take years of experience that you don’t have.

Start building a relationship with your legal attorney from the very start of your retail business. A better understanding of your business will ease the job for the legal attorney and you.

In addition, it’s like what Saul Goodman said in “Better Call Saul“:

Saul Goodman: "Lawyers. We're like health insurance. You hope you don't need it. But, man on man! Not having it? No!" 
Legal mistake made by businesses - not having a lawyer
Saul Goodman’s quote about not having a lawyer in “Better Call Saul“.

3. ADA Compliant Signage

Legal Mistake made by businesses - not ADA signage compliant

Does Your Business Needs ADA Signage?

The answer is probably yes.

If your business is open to the public, you absolutely need ADA signs.

Whether it’s a small or large business, if you see customers in your place of work at all, ADA signage is required. That includes – ADA restroom sign requirements, ADA braille signs, and ADA parking sign requirements.

ADA sign compliance guidelines call for things like the use of sans serif, easy to read font, braille lettering, and signs for every room that doesn’t typically change in function. But it goes beyond simple legal compliance.

Including the customers with disabilites about accessablity to your business is good for your trade.

Moreover, about 7 million Americans are visually impaired or blind. This is not a small market.

What Businesses DON’T Require ADA Signage?

Needless to say, that if you work remotely, from your laptop, you probably don’t have a zoned office space so it would be silly to need ADA signs.

If you communicate and interact with your customers remotely or in their homes or place of business, you don’t need ADA signage.

Some ADA sign compliance guidelines come with exemptions, such as exemptions for companies with no more than 15 employees.

Therefore, while you may still need to be ADA compliant, you need not be compliant with every rule.

ADA Signage Conclusion

If you are running a retail store that does not support easy access for handicapped customers, you can run into legal issues.

This is one of the common legal mistakes by businesses. All the facilities should be easily accessible by a handicapped person. American authorities require retail businesses to have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

There are many requirements that you need to fulfill to get the ADA signage. Even if you don’t maintain the said points for your business, you will lose ADA compliance.

These laws are pretty strict in many counties, and you don’t stand a chance against the other party if you have been accused of not following the ADA rules.

If you want to avoid common legal mistakes by businesses, take care of every small legal matter.

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Written by Usama Arbakan

I am a big fan of the digitization of businesses and have been helping bloggers and startup owners with business marketing for the last 4 years. My educational background includes Bachelor's in Commuter Science Degree and several diplomas in marketing and writing. Currently, a part-time blog writer at Ad Specto.


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