I was both looking forward to, and slightly nervous about, attending our February WIN Breakfast. The topic was Protect What You Love: Legal Keys to Safeguarding Your Business. When I start to think about legal concerns and my business my tendency is to either hope for the best or live in denial that bad things might happen to me. Both of these attitudes are ridiculous.
I am so glad I attended this event because ladies, knowledge truly is power. Our Spotlight Sponsor and subject matter expert for the breakfast was Dawn Van Tassel. Dawn is a very active Emerald member of WIN and the Founder of Van Tassel Law Firm. She is a gifted Trial Attorney, experienced in Business and Employment Law.
Dawn began with some basic tips to protect all business owners:
- Be sure to designate yourself as a business (LLC, S Corp, etc.). This can easily be done online and does not require you paying someone to assist you.
- Protect your intellectual property, such as trademarking a noteworthy name you are using.
- If you are in business with a partner(s), be sure to include an exit strategy in your original contract.
- Document well! If there is ever a time you have a dispute you will need to prove exact dates and sequences of events.
When asked how to choose a lawyer, Dawn had this advice:
- Ask around about someone who will really listen to you.
- Get a referral from someone you know and trust (this can be more important than the degree that attorney has hanging on the wall).
- In the final analysis – trust your gut. When you meet that lawyer you will get a sense if the fit is a good one.
The members and guests had a lot of questions for Dawn and what was truly remarkable was how openly she shared easy-to-understand, practical advice. As the morning wrapped up she urged us to contact her if we had any other questions. She assured us that if she did not have the answer, she probably knows the person who does.
A special thank you goes to WIN member Angie Weber of Tenacious for her skilled moderation of our discussion.
If you missed the breakfast, you can attend one of WIN’s upcoming events. Tomorrow is our luncheon, Return to Love: A Roadmap to Success, and on the 28th is a special networking event at Pinot’s Palette, Your Guiding Word: Special Paint & Sip Event. For a full calendar of events: http://mnwin.memberzone.com/events/calendarcatgid/3