Starting a business is hard work, especially starting one that is going to be a success. And, to make it even harder, you have to make sure you have your legal ducks in a row. That means that you have to take care of every legal aspect of creating a business before you begin trading. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
The issue you may have is that you don’t know what all of the legal aspects of starting a business are. After all, there are lots of them, and you can’t afford to miss one. Luckily, you don’t have to with this post. Below, you will find a list of the legal considerations you need to take care of ASAP. If you do that, you will be one step closer to success.
1. Company Formation
You have to pick a formation that you want your company to trade under for legal purposes. There are a few to choose from, but there are three mains ones. The three you need to remember are a sole proprietorship, a public limited company, and a private trader. Every one of them has benefits and negatives, but the sole proprietorship is one you want to avoid. If anything happens to your firm in this form, you’re liable. That means your personal wealth will come under threat. Public and private companies are the two best options. Click here to find out more about them.
2. Do You Have Permission to Trade Under Your Name?
Picking a name is a big deal because it is the name you are going to use (hopefully) for a very long time. More importantly, it’s the name that people will associate with your brand. Choosing a name may seem like a breeze, but it isn’t. Firstly, you have to find one that fits and that makes you comfortable. Plus, you also have to make sure it’s okay to trade under. The biggest mistake new businesses make is to assume that their name is fine. However, the truth is that it might not be fine if someone else is already using it, or if they have a copyright. Do as much digging as you can before you go live.
3. Get a License to Trade
It doesn’t matter what you are trading or how small your business is – you need a license. Any small business that trades goods for profit is the same as a huge conglomerate in the eyes of the law. At least, it is in this sense. The only way to get hold of the right license is to figure out which one you need first. Then, you can contact your local authorities and ask them for an application form. Once you go through the application process, you will find out whether you have been successful. As long as you answer everything thoroughly, you should have no problem getting hold of one. Please don’t start trading until you have it in your hand.
4. Copyright Your Ideas
Business is a dirty world of thievery and politics. A rival will gladly steal your idea and take the credit if they get the chance. And, if you don’t have proof it was your idea, they will get away with it scot free. Thankfully, copyright is your answer to these vultures that will take everything away from you in a blink of an eye. Copyright law states that you are the sole owner of the ideas and products in question, which means you are protected by the constitution. You should copyright everything from your name and your logo to your business idea. That way, no one can mess with your livelihood.
5. Hire a Lawyer
In fact, you should hire a good lawyer. At the moment, you may think that a lawyer is a waste of time and money. But, you haven’t been in the business world very long – give it time. Pretty soon, you will realize that an attorney is essential if you want to survive for any length of time. Rival firms use lawsuits like you use your cell phone. They know that small firms don’t like the pressure of the money it costs to fight one. As a result, they hope that they can scare you off and consume your market share. Don’t let a scare tactic frighten you and make decisions that you will regret. Leave it to the experts that understand what is happening, chiefly the legal team you have on retainer.
6. And an Accountant
Apart from a lawyer, your accountant might be the most important member of your staff. Their financial knowledge is second to none, and that is what you need to exploit. These people can find legal ways to avoid paying too much tax, or ensuring you always have liquidity with their payment schemes. In short, they can save you a ton of money, and they can do it without breaking the law. For any new business, that is the Holy Grail.
7. Health and Safety
The term health and safety is enough to make any business owner bow their head. It is a somber term that means you have to go through a lot of hassle and spend a lot of money on your premises. Unfortunately for you, it is vital if you don’t want your employees to sue you at the first chance. Your lawyer should be able to help you with this, or point you in the right direction at least. You can learn what premises liability can entail and the rest by following the link. They might not be able to help directly because it might not be their specialist area.
8. Understand Employee Laws
Employees have certain laws that you can’t break because it will leave you liable. Most businesses don’t break them knowingly, but that doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law. The best way to stay out of trouble is by learning what you can and cannot expect from your employees. Then, you know when you are going over the line and when you are fair.