We think we’ve been here before. An energetic startup gets carried away with its ideas (which, to be fair, are usually very good) only to misstep when it comes the actual law and ends up in a whole load of trouble. It’ll happen again. What you don’t want is for it to happen to you, and, with a bit of care and attention, it won’t. Here is a starter’s point regarding the details you need to think about for your startup to be on the right side of the law.
Let’s not have a promising startup come undone by something as avoidable as a dispute between co-founders. Mark Zuckerberg spent years (and a lot of money) fighting his co-founder dispute, and we’re sure you won’t have the resources he had access to. Get everything in order before the success comes rolling in. It might be awkward and tedious, but you’ll regret having questions such as ‘who makes the decisions’ and ‘what actions constitute the removal of a founder’ answered before they become an issue.
You’re going to have plenty of contracts bandied around a new startup. There is a lot to take care of, and each one needs to be given a thorough look through. Having contract management software in place is one way to make sure you stay on top of the contracts that could one day make or break your business. They enable you to easily view and share the documents with the parties they need to be seen by, and can also strengthen your decision making.
Getting a Legal Team – lawyers and accounting
You’re not a legal expert and you’re not a tax expert, so you need to bring in the people that are as soon as possible. They will have a tremendous amount of experience in setting up companies, and you could end up causing yourself a lot of bother if you don’t take the time to listen to their advice. Trademarks, intellectual property, and tax are all much easier to deal with if they’re handled before any of them become an issue.
If you’re working out of a garage, employment documentation might sound like a bit of a joke, but it isn’t. Making sure you that all your employees are probably classified and are making at least the minimum wage. Overtime and other labor conditions will also apply – they’re easy to follow, so make sure you do.
…And Just in Case
Talk to your lawyer. Business can be fun, but it sure is complicated. Having someone on your side who knows the law inside out is the best way to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law and end up with hefty fines or other punishments.