Setting up your own business is a daunting prospect for many reasons, particularly financial ones. At the same time, it is also an exciting prospect as you take the leap and try to make your dreams happen. One area where you simply can’t afford to make mistakes, however, is in legal issues. Here are the techniques you need to avoid mistakes when starting up for the first time.
Check everything – twice
As a new business owner, there are probably lots of things you have never done before. These might including hiring an employee, paying taxes based on your own filed reports, setting up business accounts, holding events or dealing with members of the public, and so on. You might have some experience in these areas based on past employment, but being an employee is very different to being a business owner. Even if you think you know how to do something and what the legal situation is, it’s a good idea to check it – twice. This way, you will be sure that you aren’t breaking any rules.
Get help from an expert
Since you are starting a business, you probably have expertise in one particular area that leads you to feel that you will be able to succeed. For example, you might be starting up your own web design company because you are good at creating websites. That does mean, however, that there are lots of areas to do with running the business that you are not an expert in. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who is more qualified. If you are unsure, just ask a lawyer. They will know and understand the intricacies of the law far better than you can.
Don’t complicate things
When you’re just starting out, you might feel under pressure to pass milestones quickly. You might feel that you should hire your first employee, get a company credit card, start doing events, run online marketing promotions, and so on and so forth. The fact of the matter is that all of these activities could lead to potential legal mistakes, which is something you don’t want to do – so rushing in makes no sense. Don’t complicate things until you need to. If you don’t have enough work for another person, or you aren’t making enough money yet, then don’t bother bringing in an employee. If you do need to share the workload, consider working with freelancers for a while first. Take it slow and steady, and you won’t make as many mistakes.
Always be safe
It’s a good idea to consider taking out insurance against your business sooner rather than later. Especially if you are dealing with members of the public, you might want to go for public liability insurance or a similar policy that protects you if someone gets injured or damages your property. These protections could turn out to be crucial if you do have a problem in the future. It’s better to have insurance and never use it, than to never have it and the suddenly find that you need it. This will cut down on any legal issues you might have and will also make you less liable if the worst does happen – which means that you and your business are protected.
Make sure, finally, that any legal issues the business faces are likely to fall on the company rather than on you personally. The best way to do this is to register as a limited company, so that the responsibility can be taken off your shoulders a little.
Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Working as a legal expert at LY Lawyers, Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems.