You're starting your own business. It's been a dream of yours for years, and it's finally going to become a reality.
You're excited, and you want the company to get off on the right foot. It's critical to do your research in advance. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take before you open your doors. For example, consider the following:
- What formation documents do you need? Have you had them drafted yet? What should they include and when do you need to finish them?
- Do you need any licenses or permits? For example, if your business will be part of the food and beverage industry, you may need a special license to sell alcohol.
- Have you rented a space? If so, do you understand all of the ins and outs of that lease? How long do you have the space for? Can the rent be increased? What can you do if the business flops and you need to get out of the lease?
- Have you protected yourself? Do you have an intellectual property that would compromise your company if it was lost? What trademarks and copyrights do you have? Do you know that you can launch your company without worry?
People often glaze right over some of these points or don't want to think about them. For instance, no new business owner wants to think about the company failing and how to get out of a lease, but you can't ignore it just because it's not ideal. Find out what legal rights you have and then hope you don't have to use them. Be sure you really understand your legal position before that grand opening.
Source: Forbes, "Three Questions To Ask Your Lawyer Before Starting A Small Business," Ritika Puri, Oct. 18, 2017