Whatever type of business you’re in, there are certain terms, tools, or phrases that are familiar to you but that might as well be a foreign language to anybody outside of your industry, and the truth is that there’s no good reason for most people to understand you or bother to learn those terms. However, when it comes to legal terminology, it makes sense for anybody who owns a small business to familiarize themselves with certain words that they’re likely to come across in contracts and other documents. Here are just some of the legal terms that every small business owner should understand:

  • Alternate Dispute Resolution – A way of resolving arguments, usually through mediation or arbitration using a third party instead of litigation
  • Business Entity – An organization created by one or more individuals to carry on a trade or business.
  • Breach of Contract – A refusal or failure to adhere to the terms of an agreement
  • Bylaws – The rules of a corporation, which indicate how the company will be run and what powers shareholders and stakeholders have.
  • Copyright – The exclusive right to an original work of music, literature, art, or any other type of authorship
  • Corporation – A type of business that is owned by shareholders, but which is a separate entity from its owners, is taxed separately, and provides limited personal liability.
  • Governing Documents – Articles of incorporation or organization or any other agreements or documents that indicate and govern how a business is to be operated.
  • Intellectual Property – Creations or inventions of the mind, including names, images, and trademarks as well as trade secrets
  • Negligence – A failure to uphold a duty of care or to act in a way that is expected ordinary or reasonable and that results in harm.
  • Notice – A provision in a contract that explains how information should be communicated between the parties
  • Partnership – Two or more individuals that combine their resources to establish a business and share in its profit and loss.
  • Patent – A legal protection for a new idea, concept or invention.
  • Sole Proprietorship – Business that is run and owned by one person who assumes all risks and liabilities of the business.
  • Trade Secret – Proprietary knowledge and information belonging to a business
  • Trademark – Symbols, graphics, logo, words, or a combination thereof that uniquely identify a business or its goods and services.

If you are in need of any legal guidance regarding your small business, the experienced attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz can help. Contact us today to set up a time to meet.