The business of starting a business is overwhelming. #tellmeaboutit
Whether you have deliberately set out to become a creative entrepreneur or whether it’s something you fell into by accident, there’s no shortage of t’s to be crossed and i’s to be dotted.
But unfortunately, when we’re just starting out, it’s so easy to get caught up in the tangle of “start your own business” checklists that we lose sight of the basic legal protections that we need to have… if we even know what they are in the first place!
Well, it’s time to come in from the cold, my friend – because I’ve got your legal lowdown right here.
These are the most important legal elements of your business, and you should make sure you have them in place ASAP.
Inspire trust and protect your business with a client contract
Plenty of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed entrepreneurs start their businesses without implementing a contract, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
When your client asks for “just one more edit,” assumes you’ll drop everything else to focus on their project once they finally send the information you need, or starts regarding invoices as “suggestions” instead of a requirement to pay… you’ll wish you’d spelled all these things out clearly in a contract.
Contracts help foster respectful working relationships by getting all these details nailed down at the outset. The client knows that you’re thoughtfully taking care of all aspects of your relationship with them, and you can rest easy knowing that if the client starts misbehaving, you’ve got a fallback plan.
The Wild West days of the Internet are long gone, and concerns about privacy and intellectual property ownership are more prevalent than ever.
Protect your ideas with a Non-Disclosure Agreement
At some point in your business journey, you’re going to start thinking about working with other people. Maybe you need to hire on some extra help, maybe you’re thinking about a joint venture with a partner, or maybe there’s a collaborative idea you want to try out.
It sure would suck if things didn’t work out and your ex-best business bud ran off with a head full of your ideas, plans, and proprietary business information… and implemented them all in their own business, wouldn’t it?
That’s exactly what a Non-Disclosure Agreement (or NDA) helps to protect against. The NDA lays out the ground rules for your collaboration and gives you protection in the event that your partnership doesn’t work out.
Have you taken care of these three essential legal aspects of your business? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!
Feeling like you can’t move forward, and aren’t sure what to do next in your business? Check out the “Called to Create Workbook,” my guide to unsticking your creative genius and moving forward with confidence!
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