Starting a new business can be an exciting time but it’s important to pay close attention to some important details, including legalities. Regardless of the type of industry you are starting your business in, there are a variety of legal aspects to understand. Too often, legal aspects are overlooked at the very start, which can lead to a lot of trouble down the road. Below are eight of the most overlooked legal aspects when starting a business.
Do your due diligence in researching to ensure you don't accidentally infringe upon another company's trademark.
Too often, business leaders believe that this is a "given" and don't pay too much attention to non-disclosure agreements… until a problem arises. By this time, it's too late to do anything about it if it's not on paper.
When choosing business partners, it's important that you all have a similar work ethic and timeline in mind. Rather than getting all of your shares at once, you may want to consider vesting your equity over time so if these factors don't line up, you have a solution.
When first starting out, it's hard to imagine people infringing on your intellectual property assets (or vice versa). However, it's worth it to get your copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets registered legally so if something happens later, you're covered.
Accounting and finance
Ensure that proper accounting and bookkeeping infrastructure is in place – mistakes can end up costing you thousands of dollars to go back and fix.
Independent contractor vs. employee classification
It's important to understand the differences between an employee and independent contractor. Accidentally misclassifying an employee can result in grave consequences and millions of dollars in back pay.
While you may have ownership rights for a specific brand name in the U.S., you should also get universal rights to your trademarks.
Check out legal considerations for different types of businesses – these can have an effect on taxation, funding, mergers and acquisitions, and more.
It's incredibly important to hire an experienced and trustworthy lawyer to handle the legalities of your business needs in order to avoid any legal trouble down the line. From contracts and agreements to disputes and litigation, it’s vital to have a lawyer on your side. Contact Catanese & Wells, an experienced Los Angeles business litigation lawyer today for legal assistance.