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Hope for the Best and Plan for the Worst

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Business Lawyer

When it comes to Idaho business law, we are confident that we can help you. Our team of premier Idaho business lawyers have assisted clients in the creation and operation of their businesses for more than 70 years. We have assisted numerous clients in deciding what type of business entity they want to create. Whether it is an Idaho limited liability company or a corporation or partnership that you need, we have the ability to help you.

At the Racine law office, our team of Idaho business lawyers includes partners Lane Erickson and TJ Budge, and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Our team of attorneys have the experience, skill, and knowledge, to provide sound legal advice to each of our business clients. Whether it is creating a small business, or working through the intricacies of negotiating contracts, or helping clients when something goes wrong, we have helped numerous business clients make sound business decisions that have helped them and their businesses be successful. We are confident that we can help you too.

Our goal is to provide you with sound legal advice and counsel that will help you bring the best out in your business. Additionally, we work with each of our clients to create a plan that will assist and help them when a crisis arises. If you are going into business it is important for you to understand that it will not always be rainbows and roses. It is likely that problems are going to arise that you're going to need to deal with. We are here to help.

To assist you in your business, we prepared this article as a resource for you to accomplish what every business owner wants, which is hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Below we discuss dealing with your partners, working with your customers, and handling issues with the government. We have helped numerous clients with these issues and we are confident that we can help you too!

The Best and Worst With Your Partners

We will start with your partners. Every person that goes into business with a partner is starting a new adventure that is similar to a marriage. In the early stages of a marriage, everything is new, exciting, and usually blissful. In the business world, this usually means that you and your partners are getting along well. Your goals are usually aligned, and your ideas about how the business should be operated usually match up. It's possible that the great relationship you have with your partners in the beginning could continue throughout the entire operation of your business. However, the reality of it is, like most marriages, there is always a possibility that conflict and disagreements will arise.

The very best way that you can plan for the worst in working with your partners is at the very beginning when the business is created or started in the first place. It's at this time that you can look down the road to the future and ask yourself what are the worst things that could happen between me and my partners in this business. When you ask this question it gives you the ability to come up with a plan on how to deal with those worst things if any of them were to occur.

We often assist our clients in making these types of plans when we help them create an operating agreement for an LLC or bylaws for a corporation. It's in these documents that we can address some of the most common types and kinds of problems that come up in the future between partners in the operation of a business. By having these documents created, and a plan in place, from the very beginning of your business, you and your partners can each have an assurance that the operation of the business will not be impeded if a problem comes up between the partners in the future.

The Best and Worst With Your Customers

The next area to discuss when it comes to hoping for the best and planning for the worst is in dealing with your customers. Problems with customers usually occur in three main areas. The first is that you may have a customer who is dissatisfied with the product or service that your business provides. In this instance it's a good idea to simply have a plan in place on how you will deal with a dissatisfied customer.

The second area usually occurs when there is a misunderstanding between your business and a customer. This one is usually resolved through a well written contract that explains in simple words the terms and conditions that exist through the contract. Our experience is that when a simple contract is used, most misunderstandings are avoided with clients.

The third area where clients create problems for your business is when there is a liability that arises. For instance, if you have a retail store where you sell Auto Parts and a customer comes in and slips on your floor, falls down and gets hurt, this customer may have the right to bring a lawsuit against you to recover their damages for the injury they sustained. The best way to protect against these kinds of problems is to make sure that you have proper liability insurance in place that will cover and protect you against this type of claim. If there is inadequate insurance, and damages do exist, the customer may be able to begin taking assets and money from the business. If there is no formal business entity, such as an LLC or a corporation then the customer may be able to take your personal assets and money. Regularly reviewing your liability insurance can provide you with peace of mind in knowing that you are covered.

The Best and Worst With the Government

The final area in your business where you should hope for the best but plan for the worst is in dealing with the government. If you create a business entity such as an LLC or a corporation, there may be filing requirements you have every year that must be completed in order to maintain the entity status of your business. If these filing requirements are not met, it's possible that your business entity could be administratively dissolved. You certainly don't want your entity to be dissolved simply because you failed to file some registration paperwork.

Additionally, if you have employees, then you will be dealing with making sure that you have properly made the withholdings that are required and paid these sums to both the federal and state government. Furthermore, there may be some requirements for unemployment insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance for your employees as well.

If you are in retail sales, you will also likely need to be withholding sales tax and forwarding that to the Idaho State Tax Commission on a monthly basis. You may also have some additional requirements with your local government entities such as a city or county in obtaining the proper business licenses to conduct the business that you own and operate.

With potential issues arising with partners, with customers, and with governmental agencies, we understand that creating or operating a small business can be overwhelming. We are here to help. We have assisted numerous clients in the creation and operation of their small businesses in Idaho and we are confident that we can help you too!

Enlist an Idaho Business Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your business structure or operation needs. Whether you are seeking to create a new business or review a current business, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho business problems.

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