No matter what type of business you’re starting, there are certain legal tasks that you’ll need to take care of prior to launch. From incorporating your business and naming your brand, to complying with regulations and drafting company policies, here are seven essential legal tasks for startups:
1. Selecting and Incorporating the Right Business Structure
One of the first legal tasks you’ll need to take care of when starting a business is selecting the right business structure. This will determine things like how your business will be taxed, what type of liability protection you’ll have, and what sort of paperwork you’ll need to file. The most common business structures for startups are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
2. Naming Your Business and Protecting Your Brand
Once you’ve selected the right business structure, you’ll need to choose a name for your company. This is important because you’ll want to make sure that your name is not only unique, but also protectable. That means you’ll want to avoid using generic terms or names that are too similar to other businesses. Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to register it with the appropriate state or federal agencies. You may also want to trademark your name and logo to further protect your brand.
3. Complying With Local, State, and Federal Regulations
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you’ll need to make sure that you’re complying with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. This could include things like obtaining the proper business licenses and permits, as well as following any specific industry regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines or even the shutdown of your business.
4. Drafting Important Company Policies
Another important legal task for startups is drafting important company policies. This could include things like an employee handbook, code of conduct, or non-disclosure agreement. Having these policies in place will help to protect your business from potential legal issues down the road. For example, if an employee violates your company’s code of conduct, you’ll have a written policy that you can point to in order to take disciplinary action.
5. Hiring Employees or Contractors
If you’re planning on hiring employees or contractors, there are a few legal tasks that you’ll need to take care of first. This includes drafting employment agreements, obtaining the proper insurance coverage, and understanding your obligations under state and federal labor laws. Failing to comply with these laws can result in expensive penalties or even lawsuits.
6. Raising Capital
If you’re planning on raising capital from investors, there are a few legal considerations that you’ll need to keep in mind. This includes understanding the different types of securities, complying with securities regulations, and avoiding fraud. For example, if you’re selling shares of your company, you’ll need to make sure that you comply with all applicable securities laws. Or, if you’re borrowing money from investors, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t run afoul of any lending laws.
7. Seeking Legal Counsel
Finally, one of the best things you can do for your startup is to seek legal counsel early on. An experienced attorney can help you with everything from selecting the right business structure to drafting important company policies. They can also help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and avoid potential pitfalls. LEGID can help put you in touch with experienced startup attorneys in your area and get you the legal help you need. Our attorneys already helped to more than 100 companies to start their journey.
Taking care of these legal tasks prior to launch will help ensure that your startup is off to a strong start. For more information on LEGID and how we can help you, visit our website or contact us today. Our team of experienced startup attorneys is here to help you with all of your legal needs.