If you’ve just bought the domain name for your business, and you’re about to register your company with the local council, make sure you’ve put in the legwork ahead of time to protect your fledgling organization. As a startup owner, you’re a beginner to this, and you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, and if you can’t protect your company now, there’s a good chance it’ll be targeted and exploited in the near future. So, to help on this journey, we’ve compiled a small list of what to do to keep your business safe, no matter if it’s online-only or has a physical location to visit.
Your customers need to know how to behave when shopping with you, or what they’re entitled to when it comes to shopping with you, and how their consumer rights are going to be upheld by you. So, don’t make finding this information hard for them – make clear note of your terms and conditions, both in store and on your website.
Whenever a person buys something from you, they’re signing a contract. They need to know they’re getting the right deal, and if they’re unsatisfied, what they can do about it. They need to know how to pay, and if they can return items, and what you’ll do to compensate them in the long run.
The next thing to do is get the right insurance for the operation you’re running, as well as the amount of people you need to cover, and the kind of market you’re serving at large. With these three things in mind, you’re definitely going to need to cover yourself in three separate areas: employee liability, property liability, and public liability.
There can be a bit of legal jargon to get around, but once you do, you’ll see clearly what kind of insurance you need. For example, public liability can fall under general liability, and finding general liability insurance plans for businesses is a lot easier as a catch all search term. You may also see ‘product liability insurance’ on sale, which also falls under the general term.
Then you’ll want to do some research on copyright and trademarks, and how they relate to your business. After all, you don’t want your business and/or brand name to be stolen and used by someone else, do you? You don’t want that logo that took weeks to put together to be ripped off and complacently used by another entity.
All in all, you need to protect your Intellectual Property, as well as your tangible property. Copyright is for creative endeavours, ensuring exclusivity, and trademarks prevent any competitors from using names and symbols similar to yours.
Protecting your business doesn’t have to be hard, nor done retroactively. Take the time now to do your research, and get the coverage and/or trademarks you need to keep your property safe.