When you have a brilliant idea for a business and tons of energy, you may be eager to simply get started on your journey – but there are a lot of details that need to be managed first, many of them with significant legal implications.
While many entrepreneurs worry about the cost of legal guidance when they’re just getting started, the reality is that legal issues can be far more expensive (and time-consuming) to handle if they’re not handled appropriately. That’s time and money that would be better invested in growing your business. The following are a few areas where every startup can benefit from legal assistance.
Choosing the right business structure and registration
Sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability corporations and other business structures all have different drawbacks and advantages. Understanding what’s right for your needs and how to register with the appropriate government authorities can be difficult without experience.
Creating useful and binding contracts
You need contracts for your vendors, employees, independent contractors and even your customers – but contracts are only useful when they’re legally valid and work the way that you intend. Negotiating and drafting a good contract that will protect your interests requires significant skill.
Protecting your intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) protection is essential to almost any business, but startups often really rely on their trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets to break into a market and establish themselves. Understanding how to protect your IP – and how to respond to infringement issues – is key to your startup’s endurance.
Ensuring compliance with the law when fundraising
Every business needs capital to get off the ground and grow, and plenty of legal issues can arise when it comes to Kickstarter campaigns and other fundraising strategies. Compliance with securities laws helps protect both investors and the company’s founders. It’s essential to make sure that complete records are kept and all the proper reports are filed.
If you’re launching a new enterprise, don’t overlook any of the important legalities related to your circumstances. Remember: It’s better to seek help today and avoid problems than to try to correct your course later.