Before starting a business, you need to ensure that your business strategy meets the legal requirements of the industry. The success of your business relies on having the proper legal matters in order, so it is essential to take the proper steps to ensure you start your business lawfully and remain protected. In this article, we provide you with seven steps you should take to make sure your business is operating legally.
1. File All Necessary Originating Documents
For almost all businesses, specific legal documents need to be filed to begin business operations. For example, if you plan to operate as a corporation, you need to file articles of incorporation. If you plan to run as an LLC, you would need to submit articles of organization to begin operations. This step of registering your business is simple and won’t take up much of your time, but it is crucial to starting your business legally.
2. Obtain all Licenses and Permits Needed
Many companies across all industries require a license or permit to operate. These permits can be issued at the local, state, or federal level. It is important to thoroughly research the requirements for your business to find out which licenses and permits you need to obtain. Be sure to consider the amount of time it will take to obtain these licenses or permits. Getting all the legal requirements squared away can take time, so be sure to plan ahead.
3. Keep Your Financials in Order
Be sure to open all bank accounts and credit lines in the name of your business, keeping them separate from your own personal bank account. If you don’t keep them separate, it could result in a court not viewing your business as a separate entity, leaving you personally responsible for lawsuits or debts brought against your company.
4. Get Insurance
Certain types of insurance, such as auto insurance or workers’ compensation insurance, are required by law to operate your business. Other types of insurance like general liability and property insurance are also good to have to further protect your business.
5. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Intellectual property is referred to as intangible creations of the mind. This includes company logos, symbols as well as names and images used for commerce. Every business has a type of intellectual property that needs to be protected. Whether it is your special process for making your product or simply your company logo, you should take these specific steps to keep your intellectual property protected:
- Copyright- Protects written and artistic content
- Trademark- Protects logos and business slogans
- Patent- Protects inventions
Taking the steps to obtain these for your intellectual property will help protect your business and ideas from being misappropriated by others.
6. Budget More for Legal Spending
Legal fees can be a large investment upfront when starting your business, so it is important to ensure you budget for more than you think you’ll need to help offset any unexpected costs that could arise. You don’t want to short yourself on legal funds and be forced to dip into funding meant for other important business objectives. Consult with your attorney to get an estimate of the total legal fees when you begin the process of setting up your business.
7. Find the Right Attorney
Hiring the right attorney to help you in the process of starting your business is crucial and will help to save you precious time and money in the long run. Sweat Law has extensive experience representing corporations and business entities of all sizes across a wide range of industries. With specializations in entity planning and intellectual property, Sweat Law serves as a comprehensive resource to help businesses get started on the right track.
Contact Sweat Law today to learn more about how we can help you start your business. The process of starting a new business can be daunting and complicated, so we are here to help you navigate through the process, offering unparalleled legal advice and practical solutions to help ensure you have all the required pieces in place to begin operating your business.