April 29, 2011

Workshop offers legal advice for business owners

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Making a success of a small business takes more than just selling a good product or service effectively.

Small businesses face a number of legal issues in the modern world but an upcoming workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers valuable advice to business owners, managers and CEOs address those concerns. “A Legal Sampler for Small Business Owners: Many Entrees, Many Flavors,” is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 20 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.

Organizers say the Small Business Development Center event will provide information on a variety of topics relevant in today’s changing work environment, including human resource issues, intellectual property, business contracts and the implications of social media. The seminar also features time to network with other small business owners and legal experts.

“Every business owner needs to stay current regarding the legal issues that can impact their business. This workshop is an opportunity for Southern Illinois entrepreneurs to learn and be proactive in taking necessary steps to decrease potential legal issues and risks in operating their companies,” said Emily Carter, director of entrepreneurship and business development at SIUC.

Legal experts participating in the legal sampler include: Martine Jackson of Rhode and Jackson, P.C., Attorneys at Law; Chad W. Brigham, member of Leach Firm, LLC; Courtney Cox, shareholder/attorney at Sandberg, Phoenix and von Contard P.C.; and Diane Regan Poshard, attorney at Sandberg, Phoenix and von Gontard P.C.

Jackson will discuss business contracts and human resource issues while Brigham’s session will educate participants about what they need to know to identify and protect the intellectual property of their company. He’ll emphasize trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.

The presentation by Cox and Poshard will feature employer guidelines for the use of social media including using the media to screen job applicants and promote your business. They will also address the potential risks of terminating employees for their social media activities and how owners can protect their businesses.

The registration deadline for the legal sampler is May 16. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. Small business owners, managers, and CEOs will find “A Legal Sampler for Small Business Owners” relevant and informative, organizers say. For more information, or to register, call 618/536-2424, email sbdc@siu.edu or visit the website at www.siusbdc.com.

SIUC hosts the Illinois Small Business Development Center, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, as a service to Illinois small businesses.