5 key pieces of legal advice for new businesses

Starting a new businesses can be a really exciting time. You get to be your own boss, set your own rules and, more often than not, you?re selling a service or product that you?re passionate about.

However if you?re not careful it can also be a stressful time. Deciding to become an entrepreneur is also a big investment, both financially and personally.?You may have a lot at stake, so it?s important to consider all of the legal aspects that are involved in setting up and running a business before you get started.?

Here are the five most important legal steps you should follow on the road to startup success.

1. Create a shareholder?s agreement

Even if you?re starting a business with a family member or friend, you should still consider having a shareholder?s agreement in place from the outset. Setting out the boundaries at the start of the venture will help you avoid problems and can provide valuable ownership details should any unexpected issues arise later on.

Make sure it clearly spells out each shareholder?s rights and responsibilities, as well as how profits will be distribute and when, any limits on authority and how any future departures will be dealt with.?

And as uncomfortable as it may be to talk about, also consider covering the issue of what happens to the business in the event of the death or incapacity of a shareholder. This will all help avoid any disputes later, legal or otherwise.

2. Create and register a unique trading name

Your business will need a trading name and a domain name. Do your research carefully first to ensure you?re not infringing on anyone else trademark. You can see whether a trademark is registered here.

Use a domain name registrar to determine which domains have already been taken – any mistakes made at this stage can have serious consequences for your business later on. Once you?ve decided on the name and domain you are going to use; protect it.

Continue reading more tips on page two…

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