When you start a business, at some point you’ll need to think about getting the right legal foundations in place.
But with so much information out there, you might find yourself getting conflicting advice on what to do.
You know legals are important, but where do you start?
To help you get started, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to approach business legals.
What Are Legals?
Commonly, when people think about legals, they imagine that they need to go and talk to a lawyer.
That’s an important aspect of it, but legals can also include a wide range of other things.
A good place to start is understanding that business legals fall into two main categories:
These are the legal contracts and documents that record the details of your business relationships – such as with your customers, online users, suppliers, staff, co-founders or your investors.
These are the rules that your business needs to comply with. They include regulations about registering a company, managing employees, privacy, trade marks, and any other industry specific regulations that could apply to your business.
What Legals Should I Consider?
To understand the legal requirements for your business, it is helpful to break it down into a few different areas and consider the regulations and agreements you’d need in each area.
As you can see, there are many areas of a business which might need some legal attention.
Typically, you’d start with these 3:
1. Business Structure
This is one of the most important considerations when first starting your business.
By having a good business structure, you will easily be able to set future goals for your business.
You should try to choose a structure that maximises your business potential. Having a lawyer advise you on these decisions will help you make an informed decision when it comes to your business structure.
Different business structures also have different tax implications, so it’s a good idea to speak to an accountant or tax expert too.
2. Terms and Conditions
Any new business or startup needs well-drafted terms and conditions, or T&Cs.
Having T&Cs that are tailored to your business is important because every business is different.
That’s why it’s worth getting a lawyer to draft your business T&Cs, as it will ensure all your business requirements are met.
3. Trade Marks
You have come up with a catchy name and slogan for your business – you wouldn’t want anyone else to be able to use it.
Getting a trade mark is crucial to creating a unique and strong presence in your market.
A lawyer can help you register a trade mark so that you can prevent others from using your distinctive name, slogan or logo.
Why You Should Consider Your Legal Needs?
1. Avoid Disputes
By addressing your business legal needs early, you can prevent disputes down the line. Whether these are between business partners, employees or with customers, a dispute will definitely affect the growth of a business. By having upfront conversations and documenting everything in writing, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding these conflicts.
2. Be Protected
Without sorting out your legal needs early on, your business could be exposed to legal risks. By having the right business structure, well-drafted contracts to limit your liabilities, and protecting valuable assets like intellectual property, you can safeguard your business from hitting legal obstacles as it grows.
3. Get A Good Deal
Understanding legal rights, obligations and opportunities will help you avoid signing up to bad deals. A good lawyer can review your key legal documents before you sign up to any new agreements for your business. So, whether it’s your terms and conditions with customers, agreements with your suppliers, or contracts with investors, seeing a lawyer early will make a difference in the long run.
What To Take Away…
Navigating legals for your business can be a daunting process.
There are many things to consider and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where to start.
If you’re not sure where to start, jumping online and finding a business lawyer is a good first step.
If you need help right now you can get in contact with us at Sprintlaw – we are experts in small business and startup legal needs and we’d be happy to help!