7 Steps for Starting Your Own Business
Often at the beginning of the year, many people start thinking about starting their own business. The fresh year offers a fresh start for many people that have been thinking about foraging out on their own.
Before jumping head first into a new endeavor, we suggest taking the following steps:
- Find Financial Resources – One of the first issues you will have as a small business owner is that you will have expenses right when you start, but you will have no clients or customers to provide you with an income stream. So, you will need to find someone to invest in your business before you start. This may be yourself in the form of your own savings or it may be a relative or friend. It might even be possible to get a business loan from a bank, but in order to obtain a bank loan, you will need to provide them with a solid business plan.
- Create a Business Plan – The business plan puts all of your ideas and thoughts onto paper. It is really beneficial because it forces you to think about what your business will offer, how you are going to market, what will set you apart from other similar businesses, and how to budget. There are many resources to help you create a business plan including the Small Business Administration.
- Obtain Insurance – When you start a business you will want to make sure that you have a business owner’s policy to cover any general liability that arises while you are conducting business. Depending on what products you are offering, there may be other specific insurance policies that are necessary. Contacting an insurance agency will be really beneficial in understanding what is needed.
- Form a Business Entity – There are different options for forming a business entity. Some people choose to go down to County Hall and form an assumed name entity, which allows you to operate under a different name than your own name. There are also more formal options, including forming a corporation or a limited liability company. These options are nice because they can help limit your liability and you can keep your business and personal finances separate.
- Think about Trademarks – When choosing a name for your business try to choosing something unique and not too similar to someone else’s name. More info on trademarks can be found HERE.
- Ponder Patents – Depending on what your product is, you may want to patent your product. If you created a new product and you do not want others to sell the same product, obtaining patent protection may provide you with a competitive advantage that will help you distinguish yourself from your competitors.
- Consider Copyrights – Again, depending on what your product is, there may be some copyright protection available for your product. For example, if you are selling any type of artwork, then copyright attaches to your work. You will want to take steps to make sure that your work is protected.
Once you have taken the steps above, you may be ready to start your own business!
We note that Intellectual Property (IP) law can be very confusing and abstract. Because of how important IP is, it is important to try to understand a little bit about IP if you are a business owner.
You can attend any of our FREE Pirate Fight Club events, held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Our first Pirate Fight Club event for 2018 is on January 16, 2018!
Please note that this information is shared as guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice for your particular business and circumstances. For more information on IP and to access videos about IP, visit our website and youtube page.
Rebecca M. Stadler, Esq.