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When drafting operating agreements for LLCs or bylaws for corporations, it's essential to ensure that these documents accurately reflect the internal rules and procedures governing your business. However, many businesses fall into common traps that can lead to confusion, disputes, or even legal challenges down the road.


Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Lack of Clarity or Specificity:

    • Mistake: Vague or ambiguous language in the operating agreement or bylaws can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements among members, shareholders, or directors.

    • Solution: Be clear, specific, and detailed when outlining rights, responsibilities, decision-making processes, and other key provisions to minimize interpretation issues.

  2. Failure to Address Key Governance Matters:

    • Mistake: Neglecting to include essential governance provisions, such as meeting procedures, voting rights, officer or manager roles, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

    • Solution: Ensure that the operating agreement or bylaws cover all necessary governance matters to establish clear rules for decision-making and conflict resolution.

  3. Inconsistent or Contradictory Provisions:

    • Mistake: Including provisions in the operating agreement or bylaws that conflict with each other or with state law can create confusion and undermine legal validity.

    • Solution: Review the document thoroughly to identify and resolve any inconsistencies or contradictions to maintain coherence and legal compliance.

  4. Ignoring State-Specific Requirements:

    • Mistake: Failing to comply with state-specific requirements for operating agreements or bylaws, such as mandatory provisions or filing procedures, can result in legal complications.

    • Solution: Research and adhere to the applicable laws and regulations in the state where your business is incorporated to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

  5. Overlooking Minority Rights and Protections:

    • Mistake: Neglecting to include provisions that protect the rights and interests of minority members or shareholders can lead to disputes or oppression claims.

    • Solution: Address minority rights, including voting rights, access to information, and exit strategies, to ensure fair treatment and minimize the risk of litigation.

  6. Omitting Exit and Succession Planning:

    • Mistake: Failing to plan for ownership changes, such as member or shareholder departures, transfers, or succession events, can disrupt business operations and lead to disputes.

    • Solution: Include provisions for buy-sell agreements, transfer restrictions, ownership transfer procedures, and succession plans to facilitate smooth transitions and preserve business continuity.

  7. Not Seeking Legal Review or Approval:

    • Mistake: Drafting operating agreements or bylaws without legal review or approval can result in overlooking critical legal issues or requirements.

    • Solution: Consult with experienced business attorneys to review and provide feedback on your operating agreement or bylaws to ensure legal compliance and mitigate risks.


By avoiding these common mistakes and taking proactive steps to draft clear, comprehensive, and legally compliant operating agreements or bylaws, you can establish a strong foundation for your business and minimize the risk of disputes or legal challenges. Invest the time and resources upfront to ensure that these foundational documents accurately reflect your business objectives and protect the interests of all stakeholders.


For personalized assistance and professional guidance in drafting operating agreements or bylaws tailored to your business needs, contact an experienced business attorney today, from Orlando's own, Achieve Legal- here to help you navigate the complexities of business governance and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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