Most entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed by all of the decisions that must be made when they are first starting a business. Many of the initial decisions you make can have long-lasting consequences and impact on your ability to grow, so you want to get it right! Below are a few tips to consider when launching your business that will help ensure it has a successful start:
How you legally structure your business is of utmost importance. There are different types of ways to incorporate your entity and each has its pros and cons from a tax and liability perspective. Having a knowledgeable business lawyer assist you with deciding which type of legal structure is the most advantageous for your company is critical or you could end up paying way more than is necessary in legal fees and taxes down the road.
It is a common mistake for new business owners to rely on verbal promises that later get broken. There will be people that act excited about your new venture and make statements that they intend to do business with you, but without a written contract in place, do not rely on these promises. To protect your interests, get it in writing!
This includes establishing written agreements between the founders of the business that establishes each party’s ownership interest and how the daily operating decisions will be made. Remember, two well-meaning, big-hearted people could both say the same thing but mean entirely different things. Writing it down will clarify and protect the relationship, so don’t be afraid to ask for the agreement in writing.
Protect your Intellectual Property
Your entity’s name, logo, or the type of product you sell can be intellectual property that should be protected. Confer with your attorney to determine what types of intellectual property you have that can be legally protected. Failing to obtain the appropriate patent, trademark or copyright could result in you having no legal recourse if a competitor infringes on your rights. If you have a term or logo you want to protect, consider using the ™ symbol immediately (after you’ve searched to ensure it’s available and not trademarked by someone else) and then working with us to file for formal ® of your trademark.
If your business has employees, it is necessary that you understand the various laws governing the employer-employee relationship, as well as the rules and regulations that apply to your specific industry. You may want to categorize specific team members as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes. In that case, you must have specific agreements in place or take advantage of safe harbors of protection. This is your biggest area of risk when setting up your business.
Let us help
Don’t be fooled into thinking you will save money by handling everything on your own. The money you spend working with us from the start will likely save you significant amounts of money in the future. Many startup companies fail or get caught up with very expensive mistakes by trying to save money. . Call today to get the professional advice and guidance you need.
One of our primary services is a LIFT Start-Up Session, in which we guide you through the right choice of business entity, location of business entity, start up agreements, intellectual property protection, employment structuring, insurance, financial and tax systems you need to start your next business and succeed right out of the gate. Contact us today to learn more about our LIFT Start-Up process for your business.