Licensing and Compliance for Your Small Business

When you first begin your small business, there may be many upfront costs depending on the type of business you are starting. Hiring an attorney and getting all of your legal ducks in a row may not be at the top of your list of priorities, but it should be. Following the law as closely as possible is just as important for new businesses as it is for well-established ones. Keep these tips in mind as you create your small business, so that you can always stay one step ahead of your legal requirements.

1. Hire an Attorney

It may not be fun, and it will definitely be expensive, but hiring an attorney and an accountant are two of the most important things you must do when starting your small business. If you focus solely on developing your product, you may find that you don’t have the legal ability to sell it once it’s ready to go. You also won’t be able to legally hire your employees until your business is properly registered and licensed. Find an attorney who specializes with helping small businesses. Depending on future needs you may need additional attorneys who can help with personal injury and liability as well as patent and copyright issues.

2. Overestimate Your Legal Costs

When you are budgeting your legal costs, it’s a good idea to double whatever you’re expecting to spend. Legal costs are often much higher than you expect, and it’s better to be ready for these increases than to be forced to dip into other funds later on. When meeting your attorney, ask him or her for an estimate as well. This will help you budget correctly.

3. Always Operate in Complete Compliance

It’s never a good idea to flout laws and regulations. Even if you are in the middle of getting to compliance, it’s better to wait before beginning activities that would be a violation of your current legal status. It may seem harmless in the moment, but if you are caught, it will result in fines that could potentially cripple a new business. Being caught breaking the law will also irreparably damage your reputation among other businesses and consumers.