Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top 5 Ways to BETTER Protect Your Business

As a business owner, you face a number of risks on a daily basis. Hiring an experienced business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can make all the difference in protecting your business. Finding ways to legally protect your business can help protect both you and your venture. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we have a number of ways to protect your business at the Lake of the Ozarks. Take a look below for a few of the top ways to better legally guard your business.


1) Choose the right kind of business from the start. 

Deciding which type of business is right for your unique situation is important. Whether it's a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or LLC, you can decide on a level of protection with your business type. A legal professional will be able to advise you on which business type is the best option for your venture.

2) Document, document, document, and document some more. 

You can't over-document when it comes to your business. The more you have in writing, the better. If an external person would need to go through your paperwork for any legal reason, it's best to have more than needed. Documenting any and all business activity can help protect your business!

3) Prepare for the end, at the beginning. 

As you start a business, you likely aren't thinking about the end of your business. You should be. Whether you are a sole proprietor or have partners in your business, make an exit plan from the start. This can help you make decisions ahead of time and prepare for the exit of yourself or your partner. A plan can be especially helpful if there is a sudden need to end the business or partnership.

4) Have an external person review all accounts

Many small businesses have one internal employee help with accounting. While this is a great solution to have someone on staff, it's also best to have an external person or company review your books on a regular basis. Embezzlement is a common crime and can have a detrimental impact on a small business.

5) Keep business and personal funds separate. 

As a business, there are a number of occasions in which your books may be audited. It's best to keep your business and personal accounts separate from one another. You may open your personal accounts up to being considered part of your business funding if the accounts have been co-mingled at some point.

Now that you have some tips on how to better protect your Lake of the Ozarks business, you're ready to start implementing these steps right away. If you're interested in learning exactly how our Lake of the Ozarks law firm can help safeguard your business, contact Gibbons Law Firm today! And remember, the first consultation with us is always free.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Friday, January 11, 2019

How to Identify Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment is a serious issue challenging the workforce across America. While this has been an issue for years and years, recent news stories and activists have brought this issue to the forefront. Sexual harassment has a damaging effect on your employees and company culture. Whether you are a business owner or an employee at a business, sexual harassment is a topic that should be taken very seriously. As your business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is for sexual harassment incidents to be addressed right away. Learn more about the damaging effects of sexual harassment in the workplace and how to identify this type of behavior.


Identifying Sexual Harassment:

There are many forms of sexual harassment. Below are a few examples of common sexual harassment situations, to help you better identify this type of harassment in the future:

  • Touching someone in an inappropriate manner (brushing up against them, placing a hand on shoulder or back). 
  • Discussing sex or sexual acts with another employee. 
  • Kissing, hugging, punching, or grabbing someone you work with. 
  • Asking for sexual favors. 
  • Making uncalled for or sexual noises around another employee. 
  • Asking about the sexual history of a co-worker. 
  • Showing sexual photographs or objects.
  • Insulting someone's clothing or appearance. 
  • Threatening an employee if they refuse sexual advances or favors. 



Types of Sexual Harassment:

The federal law classifies two primary forms of sexual harassment in the workplace:

  • A Hostile Work Environment results when a person or group of people are made to feel uncomfortable at work. No physical contact has to be made to create a hostile work environment. A sexual joke or comment can certainly lead to a hostile work environment. 

  • The Quid Pro Quo is when an employees' work status is threatened or changed due to a sexual advance or favor. If someone is being hired, promoted, or fired contingent upon their willingness to submit to sexual advances or perform a sexual favor, it is quid pro quo harassment. 
Sexual harassment should not be taken lightly. It's vital for your business to take action and address the issue right away. If you notice any of the above behaviors of sexual harassment, even if it does not involve you, report the issue right away. If you are the business owner or HR manager that receives a report of sexual harassment, prompt action is required. If you are worried about your business being sued for sexual harassment in the workplace near the Lake of the Ozarks, contact a lawyer right away. A legal professional can offer advice on how to take the proper steps to put an end to the harassment and help protect your business from further legal steps against you. For more information about sexual harassment in the workplace, contact Gibbons Law Firm at 573-348-2211.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Common Reasons the Divorce Rate Spikes After the Holidays

As the holiday season comes to a close, the divorce rate is typically on the rise. There are a number of reasons the rate of divorce goes up this time of year. As your experienced divorce lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know divorce is a very emotional process and those emotions are high this time of year if you are thinking about divorcing your spouse.



For some, the holidays are a joyous time with friends and family. For someone considering a divorce, it can be an emotionally draining time of year. The holidays can be a make or break time as a divorce is contemplated. Take a look below to learn about some of the common reasons the holiday season leads to many divorces.

Put It Off

Many couples decide to put off divorce until after the holidays. This may make it a little easier to get through the holiday season with fewer questions about their relationship from friends and family. It can also be tough on children to have a divorce right before the holidays and many parents may think it is better for their family if they wait to announce their divorce until the holiday festivities have concluded.

Reflection

The new year is typically a time for setting goals and reflection upon the past year. While many couples probably don't set a resolution to get divorced, they may set new goals for their personal or professional life. If they look back upon the past year and aren't happy, they may believe their partner is one of the reasons they aren't where they would like to be and divorce may seem like the solution for their unhappiness.

Flaws are Revealed

The holidays are a time of year when a couple is forced to plan and work together. From shopping for gifts to planning time with your families, it can be stressful on any relationship. If you have flaws in your marriage, this time of year may bring those to the surface.

Last Ditch Effort

If you and your spouse are trying to make it work, you may have decided to continue to work on your marriage and stay together through the holiday season,. This may be an attempt to rekindle your relationship during the holidays - which are typically a time of joy and celebration.

Now that you know why this time of year can put extra strain on your marriage, you can decide if you are willing to work through your issues or if you are ready to file for divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney can help, if you have decided to file for divorce. From the initial filing paperwork to deciding upon child custody, Gibbons Law Firm can help you through the entire divorce process. If you are ready to end your marriage, give us a call today to learn what your next steps will be.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Actions to Avoid During a Child Custody Dispute

Getting a divorce is hard but going through it when children are involved can be tough on everyone involved. If you are going through a divorce and have kids, it's important to keep your child's best interest top of mind. As your experienced divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how vital this time can be to the future of your relationship with your children. Take a look below for some quick tips for actions to avoid, provided by Gibbons Law Firm.

NOT Providing a Stable Environment

A loving and stable environment can help your children grow and thrive. A divorce can throw a wrench in that, but it's important to work toward providing the best place possible for your children. A child needs consistent love and it's important to show that you are capable of providing that for your kids, especially during a child custody dispute.

Turning to Alcohol or Drugs

It can be easy to turn to drugs or alcohol in order to cope with the new stress and changes in your life. If you would like your children to live with you, even partial custody, it's important to show that you can provide a stable place for them to live. Alcohol or drugs do not provide stability.

NOT Having Self Control

Stay in control of your anger or aggression at all times. While the stress builds and the pressure of the looming divorce may be weighing down on you, you have to keep your composure. This can help show that you are a stable figure in your child's life and a good influence on them. Don't let a moment of weakness jeopardize your custody dispute.

Talking Negatively About Your Spouse

During a divorce, you are likely not seeing eye to eye with your spouse. Don't let your children feel the negative effects of this. Keep your comments and feelings about your spouse to yourself or vent with another adult. It's inappropriate to force your feelings on your children - after all the other person you are talking about is their parent too!

NOT Being Involved in Your Child's Life

Especially if your family is going through a divorce, it's important to be there for your kids. No matter what they are involved in, show up and show support for your little one. They are going through this new transition, just like you are, and it's vital to be there for them. Whether it's little league or another school activity, make an effort to be involved in your child's life.

Now that you know what actions to avoid during a child custody dispute, you're ready to keep your child's best interested in mind. If you're thinking about getting a divorce near the Lake of the Ozarks, we are here for you. Our divorce attorney in Lake Ozark, MO can help explain the process you are about to experience. And remember, your first consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is free!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

3 Must-Know Tips for Starting a Small Business

As we near the end of another year, you may be setting some goals for 2019. If starting a small business at the Lake of the Ozarks is on your list of things to accomplish, this blog is for you. Starting a business is an exciting, yet stressful time. The legal requirements for a new startup may seem daunting to many. As your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, we can help ease some of the stresses you may face when it comes to starting your business in the new year.


1. Decide on Business Structure

The legal structure for your new business has a big impact on you and your venture. Deciding which type of structure is best for your unique situation is key to starting a successful business. A sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC, there are benefits of each type for the individual and/or business. A legal professional can help point out the benefits and drawbacks to each business structure and what would be best for your situation.

2. Think About Staffing

Who will work for your small business? Whether you plan to work alone or hire employees, it's important to have the right documentation and protection in place. If you do hire a staff, ensure you properly document the hiring process and employee paperwork required by the state. Having this proper documentation on hand can help protect you and your business down the road if there is an issue. Also, if you end up having to let someone go, ensure you properly document the reasoning and your conversation with the employee. This can help protect your business, as well.

3. Double Check Contracts

Whether it's a contract you've drafted or paperwork you are signing on behalf of your business, ensure the paperwork is read over and worded correctly. Your business lawyer can help ensure you know what you are agreeing to in the said contract. Consider having your lawyer look over any paperwork you sign or have them draft up a contract for your business. This can help cover your bases as you enter into agreements with others.


Now that you know some of the legal requirements of a new business, you have a good idea of the decisions and legal documentation you need to have in place. If you'd like assistance or advice on how to move forward with your new venture, contact our Lake of the Ozarks business attorney. Gibbons Law Firm would be happy to assist you through the process as you get your new business up and rolling.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ways to Reduce Your Chance of a Workers Compensation Claim Against Your Business

A workers compensation claim can be detrimental to a business - depending on how severe the injury or your type of workers comp insurance. While it is required for a business to have a workers compensation policy on their employees, some may still not. Our business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks knows how important this type of insurance coverage is for all businesses. Even with a workers comp policy, it's best to help your employees avoid an accident at all. Below you can find a few tips on how to better prepare your staff for a safe work environment.


Regular Training

Ensure your staff has regular training sessions to promote safety. Cover any new safety protocol and review your current procedures. This can help ensure that safety is top of mind for all of your employees. While most new employees receive safety training during their initial training, it's best to have a refresher course on a regular basis.

Prepare New Employees

When hiring someone to join your team, ensure they have been shown the proper safety protocol for all tasks. This is important to show how safety is a top priority for your new staff members. Putting a high importance on safety can help make it clear from the start of their employment that you take the safety of your employees seriously. Take the extra time to explain in detail the safety regulations you have within your company. Also, ensure each new employee fully understands what the safety protocol is and why it is in place.

Be Open to Improvements

Let your staff know that you are always on the lookout for safety improvements. Sometimes the people who do the job a daily basis can have great input for safety ideas to add to your company's protocol. Try to be open for employees to report faulty equipment. Let your staff know that you want to know when a piece of equipment is starting to fail, as this is a huge safety concern that needs to be addressed right away.

Have Employees Look Out

Encourage all of your staff members to look out for one another. If someone notices a lack of safety, please encourage them to report this. Keeping someone safe is important to all employees and the company as a whole. Also, a co-worker may be able to help point out a safety concern to a fellow employee in real-time and help prevent an unnecessary injury.

If you own a business, it's important to best prepare your employees to create a safe work environment. Our Lake of the Ozarks business lawyer is here to help with a workers compensation claim near the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have an employee get injured on the job, our law firm in Lake Ozark, MO can help. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call today to learn about your legal options when it comes to a workers compensation claim.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

National Safe Toys & Gifts Month

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month. With the gift-giving season upon us, it's important to purchase gifts that are safe for your recipient. This mainly applies to children, but some adult gifts can pose dangers, as well. If you receive a gift and are injured, you may have a personal injury case at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our personal injury attorney in Lake Ozark, MO may be able to assist if you find yourself in this situation. While you're selecting toys and gifts this Christmas, consider the below tips for finding safe items to give!


About National Safe Toy & Gift Month:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported about 251,000 toy-related injuries annually. The majority of people with these injuries (72%) are 15 years of age or younger. This epidemic of unsafe toys is very dangerous for kids. Toymakers are working diligently to make toys safer for all. Stricter regulations have been put into place in recent years. Over 19 million toy recalls have been made due to safety concerns. National Safe Toy & Gift Month is all about promoting safe toys and gifts you give this holiday season.

Tips for Selecting a Safe Toy or Gift:

Consider Choking Hazards
When gifting for a child, consider choking hazards. Small toys and small pieces that can break off can be very dangerous for a kid. Many young children will put anything they find in their mouth. If an item is large enough, it can block their airways, causing them to choke.

Pay Attention to Ages
Age suggestions are on almost every toy. Be sure you are looking at these age guidelines when picking out a gift for a child. The toymakers have a reason behind these suggestions and it's safest for everyone involved if they have accurate toys for their specific age. Especially if you aren't familiar with children toys, pay close attention to the ages on toy packages.

Consider Other Threats
While a toy may seem adventurous and fun, consider other treats that may go along with the item. A skateboard or rollerskates are popular gift items, but many children fall and get injured using this type of toy. If you are giving a gift like this, consider giving a safety item along with it. For example, a helmet and knee pads may compliment a bike well.

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for toys and gifts this holiday season, you're ready to start selecting the perfect gifts for everyone on your list! Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we know how important it is to give a gift that someone can truly enjoy, but it's also vital to ensure it's a safe gift for them to use. Think about safety as you make your gift selections this Christmas shopping season, especially when picking out items for the kids in your life. Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.



Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...