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8: Set Your Business Up for Legal Success with Susan Burns

Susan Burns is a business strategist and legal adviser to women-owned, small businesses. She is also founder and CEO of Small Business Legal School, an online learning course designed to support success by helping business owners become legally savvy.



To be legally savvy, consider the following….

  • Business structure
  • Contracts and negotiations
  • Employee agreements & classifications (hiring employees versus independent contractors)


Intellectual Property Concerns

  • Trademarks or Service Marks: Protect your brand identity; Trademark registration involves various nuances – use a trademark lawyer  to minimize legal risks
  • Copyrights:  Protect your tangible medium of expression
  • Patents:  Protect your design/invention


To find a good lawyer

  • Network and ask other business owners to find out who they are using; ask for referrals
  • Be the boss:  interview each potential lawyer regarding their background, philosophy to determine whether they will fit with your business needs; Also, make sure they are well versed in the area of concern
  • Don’t choose a lawyer who “talks down” to you
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no, not interested”



Her final advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs

  • Become educated about your legal needs
  • Seek good legal counsel
  • Always cover your assets!




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