What Do I Need to Know About Starting a Business? Part One: The Basics

Starting a business can be a tremendous thrill for the born entrepreneur – but it also presents some potential pitfalls that require new business owners to look before they leap. Here are some basic questions you'll want to consider as you're preparing this major undertaking.

Which types of permission you need to obtain – Different industries and types of business must obtain different kinds of registrations, licenses, permits and other legal authorizations before they can become fully compliant with federal, state and city laws. This includes filing your official business name.

How to protect intellectual property – If you want to protect a brand name, catchphrase or logo image from against future infringement, you'll need to apply for the appropriate trademark – keeping in mind that disparaging, offensive or overly-vague candidates may be rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You may also need to know how to copyright original creative works.

Which business structure to adopt – Your new business may take the form of a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or other type of business structure. Understanding the pros and cons of these different structures can help you select the most legally, financially and organizationally sensible option for your enterprise. (We'll examine them in a future post.)

How to protect your business against damages – In addition to purchasing the appropriate types of commercial insurance to protect your business against various types of damages, you may also need to talk to an employment lawyer about setting up strong, clear policies and contractual agreements. This step could make all the difference in safeguarding your new company against disagreements and lawsuits right from the beginning.

Don't let all these questions intimidate you away from your dream. Contact our law firm in Austin, Texas at (512) 476-2622 for a consultation so we can help you with the legal points of launching a business.