Whether you are planning on launching a business or have already made the leap into the business world, there is a lot involved in a successful startup. You’ll need to make sure that your business plan covers everything, from organising suppliers and managing stock, to establishing the appropriate business location and getting your marketing efforts underway.
An area of business that is particularly important is in terms of the legal considerations you make – if you are planning on making your operations global, or even if you are keeping things domestic, there is a minefield of business law to navigate.
The appropriate decisions and a proactive approach will ensure that your business doesn’t run into legal trouble, whether it is in the near future or down the line.
The Legal Implications of Going Global
While you’ll need to focus on business law regardless of whether you are operating globally, an often overlooked aspect of expanding to new countries is in the differences in laws and regulations across the globe.
Many business owners make the exciting and involved decision to expand overseas – however, selling your products overseas, or setting up shop there can have legal implications that you need to be aware of.
Take the lawyer of your choice for example, and compare it to this NZ legal team – more than likely, you’ll notice that the services they offer will differ based on the relevant laws in their country. You’ll be able to look at various franchises and multinational businesses for an abundance of examples of how business laws differ from country to country.
Domestic Business Laws
While international business law might be an important part of running a business, be sure not to overlook the domestic business laws that might impact your business. Getting ahead of this aspect of launching a startup will mean that you don’t need to put your business on pause, can avoid redesigning what you offer (and how you offer it), and won’t find yourself in a tedious legal battle.
Business law will include everything from copyright law, to ensuring you approach taxes correctly. Take the area of business structure as an example – decisions along the lines of whether your business is a partnership, nonprofit organisation, a joint venture or otherwise will be based on a number of factors.
Things like the type of business you are running, the goals you have in mind, your capital structure, and the industry you are in will all play a part in the choice you make.
On top of this as an example, other important factors that you will be responsible for taking into account are employee management, property law, and your business terms and conditions.
Getting the Right Legal Advice
Regardless of what legal decisions you need to make, the right approach will likely be to seek legal advice from an expert. Business owners are often tech or business oriented people, concerned with building their product, running their business, and ensuring that internal operations are as functional as possible. As a result, they often jump into markets and industries without a focus on the legal requirements that might apply to them.
As a result, you’ll need to ensure that the opinions and help you get are genuine, appropriate and provide you with the best possible outcome. This will ensure that your business runs smoothly, and that any potential legal issues are avoided.
The Situations That Might Require Legal Consideration
While there are too many areas of business law to name, there are a number of more common legal issues that businesses can run into, depending on the situation they are in and the goals they are trying to achieve.
Firstly, startups can often require legal counsel when it comes to financing. Most commonly, this will be to do with taxation, which can be complicated and will be best tackled with the help of a business accountant. However, the legalities of financing also encompass the raising of funds, and how business money is spent.
Next, consider trademarking – especially during the initial stages of starting a business or moving overseas, you’ll want to ensure that your brand is protected and that you are not unintentionally breaking laws by stealing from other brands. Finally, a significant area of focus should be in terms of employees, what their terms of employment are, how they are managed, and whether your overall approach to being an employer fits legal requirements in terms of your particular industry and business type.
These are just some of the more common examples of business law that might affect your startup – ultimately, the best and most comprehensive approach to launching a business or expanding overseas will be to get legal advice that fits your business and its needs.
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I am an enthusiast marketer and an active learner. I work at StartupGuys.net, where I get the chance to meet a new entrepreneur everyday. Connecting to successful people, knowing about their struggle, learning techniques from them and sharing this useful stuff with those who need it is something I do. And, I love what I am doing!