So starting your first business can be a headache as there’s so much to be aware of and so much to take care of it’s difficult to be on top of everything. Running a small business is a job like no other, you will need to be able to master so many different skills and take on so many roles. Top of things to be aware of are certain legal matters and responsibilities, as it’s so easy to unintentionally do yourself a disservice if you are not aware of best practice.
Registering Your Business
You need to register your business with the tax authorities ideally before you start trading or very shortly afterward. If you are not registered then doing business will be quite difficult as, firstly, you need a bank account to take payments, especially if you are trading business to business as it won’t look professional at all. You can register either as a self-employed individual or a limited liability company but either way you won’t be able to do much until you do.
Taking On Employees
If you are taking on staff you must comply with the legislation surrounding registering as an employer and also registering your employees in your state or region. If you don’t do this properly then it can have serious consequences for you and your employees as their tax contributions may end up out of date and you could be in line for penalties and fines.
Ensure You’re Insured!
Be sure to ensure you’re insured! Apologies for the mouthful there, but its true insurance is essential in business as there is so much that needs insuring. You have vehicle insurance and insure any buildings, stock and plant are covered, even your conduct needs to be insured through public liability insurance or similar if your line of work is more specialist, such as a medical practice, for example, you would need malpractice insurance such as is discussed here.
Commercial Contracts Invoices Etc
You need to be certain that all contract documents are legally tight and offer you the protection you require. Things such as each party’s responsibilities and payment deadlines should be drawn up in a legal and binding way. Invoices should be clear on payment terms no matter how small the contract is. For these tasks, it is essential to have a good and competent contract lawyer as this can save you money in the long run despite the initial cost.
If you have any specific or unique products, ideas or services then you should be aware of protecting your intellectual property. This involves trademarking unique names and brands, copyright for creative works, this includes written text, designs or music, and artwork and if you have an invention or technical design that has unique properties then you should be considering registering a patent. It would be wise to get advice and the service of a professional to take care of these for you.