Before you open a restaurant: how to avoid liability and lawsuits

Before you open a restaurant: how to avoid liability and lawsuits

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Perhaps you have a special recipe or a unique idea for a restaurant that you know people will love. All you have to do is find the perfect location, purchase the necessary equipment, supplies and decor, and open your doors to the public, right? Actually, there are a number of things you need to take care of first in order to protect your personal finances and your business from litigation. At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., we often provide advice to clients on starting a restaurant business.

When it comes to personal liability, explains that your business structure may provide the protection you need. While a sole proprietorship or partnership may be simpler to set up, a limited liability company or a corporation structure will place most or all of the liability with the business and not with you personally. So, if a creditor, employee or injured customer sues your business, your personal assets are safe.

Another area where you could get into hot water is licensing requirements. Businesses that involve food handling are regulated carefully; your building and equipment will require inspections to ensure they are compliant. You must have a liquor license if you plan to serve alcohol. 

Intellectual property is another area of law that may apply to your new restaurant. For example, you want to be careful to choose a unique name. Recipes may be copyrighted, so if you have menu items that belong to another business, it may be infringement.

For more information regarding litigation matters new businesses may encounter, please visit our webpage.