As you point out, “there’s so many legalities involved in starting a company.” Some legal issues are more important than others, depending on facts specific to your company. Generally, here are some legal things to keep in mind as an early-state startup:
- Shore up your intellectual property (IP). This could mean applying for a provisional patent, protecting your brand by registering for a trademark and / or copyright, and drafting and implementing a series of confidentiality / assignment agreements.
- Carefully select your company name. Your job at this point is to find a name that is all yours to trademark, which means doing a thorough search for any names you consider, as well as any similar names. You don’t want to print a truckload of t-shirts with your logo on them, only to find out that there’s already a company in Cali with the same name.
- Incorporate / form your business the right way. Choosing the right business entity, as well as the state to register in are crucial decisions. It can be difficult to convert down the road, making the initial decision even more important. Where to incorporate / form impacts things like taxes, foreign qualifications, and annual corporate formalities.
- Don’t use templates. If you can, try and avoid using boilerplate agreements that you can find / purchase online. These contracts aren’t tailored to your business like they should be. Instead, they consist of the most common terms which may not even apply to your company. If you employ these types of agreements then make you sure double and triple check them. You could have a lawyer review them as well.
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