UHV SBDC workshop focuses on legal needs of small businesses

When starting a new business, some entrepreneurs might not know or understand how many legal concerns must be addressed.

That’s why the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center will offer Legal Concerns for a New Business. The free workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 21 in the UHV SBDC offices, 1908 N. Laurent St., Suite 400.

Joe Humphreys
Joe Humphreys

“We want small business owners to know that every level of starting and running a business involves legal concerns,” UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “Whether it’s naming a business, choosing an operating structure or even creating employee handbooks, there are legal questions that should be addressed.”

The workshop will be taught by Diane Kliem of Kliem & Associates, Attorneys at Law. Kliem has worked with the UHV SBDC before to help her own business prosper. Now, she is working with the group to share her knowledge and expertise with other entrepreneurs.

During the session, Kliem will explain the legal decisions and actions a typical small business owner needs to address. She will explain some of the different legal structures for running a business, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies or other options. Each structure comes with its own legal requirements and considerations, and Kliem will offer information to help entrepreneurs choose the best structure for their businesses.

Diane Kliem
Diane Kliem

For existing businesses, Kliem will explain some of the more common legal concerns and questions, such as how contracts or legal documents should be handled, whether they are patents, noncompete clauses, vendor contracts or other documents.

“One of the most important things for small business owners to know is how to recognize when they need an outside opinion,” Humphreys said. “Legal documents and requirements can get complicated and confusing if business owners don’t have the training and expertise to deal with them. When that happens, it’s important for entrepreneurs to know they have a legal counsel they trust to help them get a clear understanding of a legal document or situation.”

Although Kliem will offer general advice about possible situations and legal questions, she will not be offering specific legal advice for individuals or their businesses, Humphreys said.

“Our main goal is to help businesses understand what legal needs they should be aware of and where they can go for assistance,” Humphreys said. “This is a great opportunity for people to bring general questions to point them in the right direction.”

To register for the workshop, contact the UHV SBDC at 361-485-4485 or email

The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community in partnership with federal, state and local governments. The center offers business advising, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.