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    I love supporting small businesses. I buy local whenever I can, and I have great admiration for those who run these businesses. I”ve thought about starting one up myself. However, before jumping into launching a business, there are some essential things to consider once you have a business plan but before you actually set up shop.

    1. Think ahead

    Business licenses. Employee matters. Choice of entity. Supply and service contracts.

    These are all legal concerns that entrepreneurs need to have hammered out before breaking ground. Of course these issues will vary depending on the type of business, but they’re items that all new business owners need to think about. Also, try to anticipate any legal issues you might have at least six to nine months ahead of time.

    2. Be cool

    Business owners need to be prepared for any issues that might come their way — including getting sued. As hard as it must be, try not to take these things personally.

    Emotional discretion is important, especially when analyzing cost-risk analysis of whether fighting a legal battle is worth the time, energy, and money that would be spent on it or not. Seek counsel for these issues in order to find out what would be best for the business.

    3. Have a lawyer in your back pocket

    There are going to be times in the life of a young business owner that you simply have questions about how to proceed. Making friends with a business attorney is a good way to have a resource where you can get your questions answered without necessarily having to pay for legal counsel every single time.

    4. Get a business account

    Setting up a business account is a must for new business owners. Mixing business expenses and personal accounts is a bad idea for a myriad of reasons. This is one of the first steps that needs to take place when you start a business.

    If the accounts are mixed, it affects your legal liability and can cause major problems later down the road. We all know that when legal standards aren’t maintained, businesses and companies can find themselves in major trouble.

    5. Keep records

    New businesses need to keep everything in writing, whether that means negotiating salaries or getting contracts for redoing your new space. Make sure these documents are specific, include details about what work is going to be done and what is going to be paid, that they’re appropriately signed, and that you as business owner keep the originals.

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