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  • Erin Holliday

Our Favorite Things About Working with Yinz’s Small Businesses



There are some truly special things you learn about small business owners after working with them for a while. In the Holliday spirit (yes, that’s spelled right), this blog post outlines Trellis attorney Erin Holliday’s top 5 favorite things about working with small business owners to cap off the year.


1. You’re Really Good at What You Do

Trellis clients are some of the best restauranteurs, artists, makers, stylists, photographers, farmers, and craftsmen you’ll ever meet. They know going into business for themselves is not the easy route, but they know their potential for great work and lasting contributions to their community is well worth it.

Do you know what it’s like to be constantly surrounded by people who are just the best and brightest at their craft? It’s inspiring, and our favorite part of being small business lawyers. So where do we come in to help them? In many ways!


  • We help creatives protect their intellectual property through agreements, and registrations (our new IP lawyer Jessica is awesome!), advising them about their rights and obligations, and helping them negotiate contracts like licensing agreements that advocate for the artwork they produce (Read our intellectual property toolbox resource here).

  • We help our clients with custom contracts to fit their business and relationships that can protect their work and make sure everyone is on the same page.

  • And we keep you apprised of changes in the law that may change the way you do business or affect your operations. (See, for example, details on the new corporate transparency act, tip/wage law, and food safety rule updates in Allegheny County).

· And so much more! We’re here to help you stay protected in what you do best.


2. You’re Passionate

It takes serious passion to start your own thing. Whether it’s passion for your art or the desire to control your destiny. Whether you have a big idea and want to see it come to life, or you know a better way to get something done. This passion is energizing to work with! We can help you add a solid foundation for that passion to thrive, whether it’s helping you form an entity like an LLC to protect yourself from personal liability (See free resource: Starting an LLC in PA) or helping you best surround yourself with a team of employees to make it happen.


3. You’re Gritty

We know that sometimes it takes creativity, hard work, and maybe a little madness to pull together a small business. We never judge our clients for needing to budget their legal and triage immediate needs with additional protections (See Marlene’s pep talk about this here). Starting something from scratch takes GRIT. We can help you prioritize and budget the right legal protections for your unique legal needs. Check out last month’s blog on practicing safe DIY with your legal.



4. You Know Your Worth

It is refreshing to work with people who advocate for themselves, and know their work is worth protecting. We love to help our clients set up protections like clear clauses in your contracts – payment provisions, termination/cancellation when things don’t work out, or terms surrounding warranties and refunds – or the right employee documents like NDAs and non-solicitation agreements to protect your trade secrets and processes. But we can also help you understand your options when you need to enforce contract provisions, ask for payment you deserve, cut ties when a relationship isn’t working out, and more.


5. You Want to Do Good

Whether it’s in helping teach others your craft through training programs and employee education stipends, creating paths for giving, like donating a portion of your profits to a cause you care about, hosting free events, getting involved in your community, or pursuing sustainable options to reduce environmental impacts – it’s no question our Pittsburgh (and all of Pennsylvania) clients are in this to help not just themselves but their community. We’ve helped many of our clients develop their missions and understand specific regulatory compliance questions surrounding these types of good-intentioned goals. We can help you figure out if the non-profit route is right for you or maybe something else like fiscal sponsorship or small business grants for good.

Thank you to all of our wonderful small business and non-profit clients for such a great year! Cheers to a wonderful 2024!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should discuss their specific situation with an attorney.


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