Forming your very own startup can be an extremely exciting time in your life and career, as it will hopefully lead to long-term success and prosperity for yourself and everyone associated. However, it can also mean dealing with issues that have, so far, been outside of your field of concern. Particularly, the legal considerations that come alongside forming a business. If you have not been exposed to the legal side of a business in your career thus far, then you may not know the first thing about the legal and commercial side of businesses.
As such, the most important legal considerations you need to make when forming a startup include:
1 – Written Agreements
In order to establish the rights and obligations of all those involved in the business, it is vital to get written agreements in place. Typically for most companies, you will need partnership agreements, shareholder policies, employment contracts and similar, all of which should ensure a non-compete clause. Doing this can help to protect your business information in the long term, especially if it is particularly sensitive in the hands of the owner, executive or key employee.
A buy-sell agreement in a partnership is also vital to ensure the orderly sorting of a departing owner’s share should this occur. Setting up these written agreements is simple, so long as you have expert corporate solicitors at your disposal.
2 – Employment Law
Whether you employ one person or several, as a business owner you need to be keenly aware of employment law and the implications it has for your business. Particularly, you need to instil a non-discrimination culture in your business from the word go. Avoiding all acts of discrimination in hiring practice and workplace conduct when it comes to race, gender, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation or otherwise.
If an employee/employer dispute were to arise, it is important to have a commercial law Manchester team on your side to help during alternative dispute resolution (mediation) scenarios, as well as during legal court proceedings if necessary.
3 – Intellectual Property
Protecting the intellectual property of your new business may come across as a small issue. But, if your business is potentially bringing across new concepts or other intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and copyrights to the market then it is integral to your business structure. If someone were to steal or copy your idea they could potentially disrupt the future success of your execution of the idea.
Ensuring your business has the rights to use certain materials, books, images and the like is also equally as important. As if you are found stealing the intellectual property of someone else the reputation of your business could be put at risk. Avoiding this by gaining the appropriate permissions, legally, then is necessary to ensure your business reputation both now and in the future.
4 – Insurance
As a startup, not having the appropriate business insurance could be potentially very risky for your new venture. One disgruntled employee, unhappy client or likewise could result in lengthy and costly legal battles. Which, if severe enough, could destroy your business before it even has a chance to really launch properly. Gaining the right business and employee insurance, therefore, could be the best way to ensure that this is not the case. A simple sum paid each month can easily cover your legal costs in such circumstances, making it a vital investment for any startup.
Overall, as a startup, you need to ensure that you are protecting yourself, your business and all of your stakeholders from day one. Not doing so could do more harm for your startup in the short term than good, so it is important to ensure these legal necessities are in place at the heart of your business.