You’ve probably heard founders of start-ups boasting they wrote their business plan on the back of an envelope or beer mat. However, they probably spent far more time business planning than they admit.
A sound business plan must consider the legal aspects
Failing to consider the legal requirements of running a business could leave your dream in tatters before you have started. Here are some legal issues you need to look at:
- Intellectual property rights: Let’s say you want to open a chain of burger restaurants. As McDonald is your surname, you figure you will name it after yourself. Sadly, someone beat it to you first. Not all intellectual property issues are so obvious. Many companies register a host of names and trademarks they never intend to use to stop others from using them. Carry out a thorough search before commissioning your headed paper.
- Licensing regulations: Just because you have a great idea does not mean the local authorities will allow you to implement it. Check local laws. There may be a reason why no one has set up a bar in that ideal spot. Gaining a license may be far more complicated and expensive than you imagine, with many boxes to tick before you can begin.
- Contracts: Running a business requires all manner of contracts. A business partner drawing up a partnership agreement is essential at the start. It can avoid serious problems later. When striking deals with suppliers and clients, be sure to put things in writing. Seek legal help to ensure your contracts protect you and do not expose you to risk or litigation.
- Registering your company: You need to register your company legally. There are various ways of doing this. Some will be much better for you than others.
Legal mistakes or oversights can be costly in business. It pays to seek help early to ensure a solid legal foundation.