Starting a business can be an incredibly exciting time in your life. Getting ready to go out on your own and control your own livelihood is something many people want to do. However, starting and operating a successful business is much easier said than done. In fact, only half of all businesses started will last past their fifth year of operation.
As a result, there are many considerations you should make before starting a business. Thinking about these will give you the best chance of success. However, in addition to things like product development, figuring out marketing and other things, you also need not forget the legal responsibilities. With that in mind, this blog post is going to take a look at a few legal considerations to make when starting a business.
Know Your Responsibilities Towards Your Employees
If your business is one that will need employees, there are likely many different legal responsibilities you have. There are rules about everything from how much you need to pay employees, how many hours they can work, what types of leave they get, and a variety of other things. This will often differ depending on where your business will operate.
For example, maternity leave in Ontario is up to 17 weeks, and any worker who is pregnant is eligible for this unpaid leave. If you do not think about or consider these responsibilities, you could easily find yourself with fines or other penalties. Or you may simply be unable to operate. In addition to ensuring your company can operate, abiding by these standards will ensure quality employees will be willing to work with you. No good employee is going to want to work with a company that doesn’t respect their rights.
Be Knowledgeable About Licenses and Regulations
Depending on where you start your business and what industry it’s in, there could be a lot of licenses and certifications you need to get. In addition to that, there are likely some regulations you need to abide by as well. For example, if you are a food company you may have to abide by administration regulations. Also, you will need to get the proper licenses to manufacture the food and permits to sell it or operate your restaurant.
On the other hand, if you do online content creation there will likely be significantly fewer regulations to worry about. While you can check these regulations and be sure you abide by them yourself, it can often be a good idea to work with a lawyer. They will likely have more extensive knowledge than you on this sort of thing. They will work with you and be able to help ensure you are on the right path.
Ensure Your IP is Protected
When you are is just starting out, you likely don’t have a lot of assets at your company. However, the one thing you will have is your intellectual property (also known as IP). Your IP can be a range of different things from patents, to trademarks, to copyrights, even to secret recipes.
Your IP is essentially your competitive advantage in your space and if you lose it, your business could fail. If these forms of IP are not protected, you could eventually lose your right to protect them and others can blatantly copy what you’re doing. As a result, you need to be sure to protect your IP. There are many different reasons to do so and many ways you can go about protecting yourself.
We hope this article has helped you learn about some of the legal considerations to make when starting a company.