These days, everyone’s an entrepreneur. The beauty of the internet is that anyone with a great idea can start a business. Anyone can become the next big startup success story. It’s inspiring and opens up a whole new world of business. Having said that, to really take it far, you have to treat it just like any other business. When you’re getting things off the ground, it’s often easy to forget the following essential things.
They are the ‘boring’ aspects of running a business. However, they are also some of the most important. They are the things that set you up legally as a business. They are the processes that will guard you against liability claims. They’ll protect your intellectual property. They are the necessary backbone to your creative ideas. And if it’s your first business, you probably haven’t thought about them yet. Don’t worry, no-one ever does! That’s why this post exists. We’re here to help you with the boring bits.
What is the legal structure of your business?
Once you start making money from your business, you are liable to pay tax. You’ll need to report to the taxman your incomes and profits. In order to do that effectively, you must be registered as a business. There are three main types. The first is a sole trader, which is common for freelancers and small one-person businesses. The second is a partnership where a group of people enter a business agreement. Finally, there are limited companies. These are incorporated and will set you up as a large scale business.
Intellectual Property protection
If your business relies on a unique product or idea, you need to protect that idea. With social media, it doesn’t take long for great ideas to spread. When you’re a small business, you are vulnerable to others stealing it. They may have more money and resources to push it and they’ll leave you dead in the water. Consult a solicitor like Hanne and Co. The business lawyers will be able to advise you on this process.
Licenses and Health and Safety
If your business will be dealing with any clients or members of the public, you may need to consider licenses. If there is any potential risk to the people you are working with, you will have to obtain a license. Speak to your local government about your needs if you are unsure. You need a license for anything from playing music to serving food and drink. If this applies to you, make sure you’re covered. You’ll also need a full health and safety inspection before you can begin trading.
As soon as you begin trading you are at risk of liability. Even if you operate solely online, there is always something that can go wrong. Take out a full business insurance policy. That will cover you for employee liability should your employees hurt themselves at work. It will also cover public liability and professional indemnity.
Hopefully this post has brought to light some considerations for your new business. They are the back-stage essentials of your business. Get them sorted early and you can move on. Now, get back to the fun part of your business!