Entrepreneurs are often told to just dive in and stop worrying about the details. While this is a great advice (no, really, just do it), there comes a time where an entrepreneur needs to take some time to make sure they’re heading in the right direction and that what they have worked so hard for will not be at risk under any circumstances. Here are 3 legal questions any entrepreneur should be asking themselves, at one point or another.
Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding your business, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I protected in my business relationships?
This should be one of your very first concerns, as you will be building business relationships on a regular basis (if you’re not doing so already). All your business relationships should be in writing and this will most likely start with a service agreement. If you have partners, you need to think about having a written agreement between all of you (yes, even if they’re your friends).
As for day to day contracts, think about their impact on your business’ future. An entrepreneur once came up to us with an agreement between a potential investor and her. Had it been signed as is, it would’ve ruined any chances of growth in her industry. Do not think that a written agreement is necessarily a complete and safe agreement.
Am I in the right legal structure?
Entrepreneurs often wonder when the right time to incorporate is. Truth is, it depends on your business. Normally, you should not be incorporated until your revenues far exceed your expenses. However, the industry you are in might have an impact on your decision, as some activities can involve your liability more often than others.
There is a myriad of elements you should look into: the grants you can get, how it might affect your income tax, if you are looking for investors etc. Take a look at where you are and where you want to go and make a decision based on that.
Is my intellectual property safe?
We often talk about the importance of protecting your intellectual property and that is because we want to make sure you understand the value of your work. If you have invested a lot of time and money into your visual identity, think about registering your trademarks. If you are working on a new project or creating something that might be patentable, a NDA could be handy.
When signing business agreements, always make sure there is a clause regarding intellectual property. Are you keeping your IP? Are you giving anyone a license? Are you getting paid for that license? Take the time to read IP clauses properly so you don’t get any bad surprises further along the way.
If you have any legal questions regarding your business, send us an email at email@example.com or click the link below to schedule a consultation.