Starting a start-up can be exciting, nerve-wrecking, and life-changing to say the least. And while you may want to quit your day job today and start working from home on your passion, starting your own business can be challenging. Especially when you consider all the legal steps that need to be put in place before you start.
Unfortunately, many start-ups fail to spend enough time ensuring that the legal side of things is taken care of before they dive in. Perhaps because it seems too daunting and time-consuming, or perhaps because sourcing funding and finding staff may seem like the top priority. Whatever the reason, we are here to help make the process simple, easy to understand and time-saving in the long run.
To help you get a headstart, we’ve put together these top legal tips for start-ups.
Choose Your Business Structure
This is perhaps the most important decision you’ll make when starting your business, and without it, you could face some serious legal ramifications down the line. You may want to register as a sole proprietor, or a private company, or in a partnership. Before you make the decision, we recommend you do due diligence on which structure best suits your business. Take a look at this blog post which covers the best business structures for starting a business.
Get Your Contracts in Place
Contracts are a fundamental part of any successful start-up. Whether you’re employing your brother, your best friend, or even your partner, it is essential to have written contracts in place. Written contracts are the best way to keep a record of what was agreed upon and gives all parties a good understanding of what is required of them. More than this, contracts can save you time and money if things happen to go belly-up.
Understand Your Tax Obligations
Many start-up companies choose to fly under the tax radar, which can be absolutely devastating in the long run. Tax is not an area where you want to take chances! So before you start earning and paying salaries, we recommend you seek legal advice on your tax obligations and requirements.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
This may seem like an unnecessary point to make, but protecting your intellectual property (IP) is one of the most important steps to take when starting your own business. Without protection in place, you run the risk of your ideas, designs and products being stolen.
Protect Your Assets
Most startup founders know the realities and risks involved when starting their own business, which is why it is essential to protect your personal assets in the event of the business failing. One of the most effective ways to do this is by establishing a limited liability private company. More on this can be found here.
Seek legal advice
You may think this is unnecessary, especially when you think that you’re not doing anything wrong, and you don’t have anyone threatening to sue you. But seeking legal advice could be the decision that saves your business. Not only will this help you avoid any penalties for non-compliance but it will ensure that your business can grow with a solid legal foundation.
For more information on starting your own business, or if you’d like advice on starting your start-up with the right legal steps in place, contact us at [email protected]