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Have you got a brilliant business idea but just don’t know where to start? Don’t stress, we’ve got all of the main points you need to know covered.

It’s easy to become swept up in the excitement of becoming a small business owner, but it is essential that you have all the practical and legal steps covered to avoid your dream business success turning into an expensive nightmare. Here are some of the main things you should consider.

Create a solid concept

Potential entrepreneurs should first think of a concept, product or service to form the basis of their business. Most importantly, you need to figure out how your concept can be used to generate as much income as possible, whilst also being sustainable. Try to conceive a plan that makes the best use of your knowledge, experience and expertise so you can reach your full potential.

Follow the rules

You will need to know and understand the rules relating to your business idea before you get started. You should ask questions like – What professional or insurance requirements apply to me? Will Customs allow me to import stock? Am I allowed to operate a business from my property? Also, all businesses are subject to tax, employment and workplace safety laws. It is recommended that you seek legal advice for these matters to ensure compliance and to avoid facing penalties.

Choose the right structure

Deciding on your business structure is an important initial step. The four main types are: sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Each type is different in relation to taxation, licencing, costs, personal liability, and your level of control in the business. Ask yourself questions such as – How much do I expect the business to grow? How can I protect my personal assets? How will I deal with customers and suppliers? It may be beneficial to get legal advice to determine the best structure for your needs. This could avoid you needing to file for bankruptcy if all goes wrong!

Protect your brand

Branding is an important aspect of any business. Make sure you take all the necessary steps to protect your brand. A good starting point is to register your business name, domain name and social media accounts – but there is much more to be done! Trademark registration is an effective way to enforce your rights as a commercial brand owner. To register, your business or product name must be easily distinguishable from others – so be original! Copyright protection is given to the authors of original works automatically, but it is more complicated and expensive to enforce than trademark rights. Lastly, it may also be necessary for you to register patents or designs. Do this before you share your ideas with others to prevent copycats!

Cover the ‘legals’

Finally, make sure your business is covered when it comes to the legal nitty gritty. It is important that your website has a privacy policy and a complete set of terms and conditions. Ask yourself questions like – How can I limit my liability under the consumer law? How do I want to deal with returns and complaints? How can I reduce the risk of fraud? Also, make sure you don’t make any misleading statements on your website or marketing material to avoid potential legal penalties.

You will now have a good grasp of the main steps for starting a new business, but this is just where it begins. Each and every business is different and faces its own unique set of obstacles. It is therefore highly advised that you do your own research and seek advice from a professional to best equip your business for success.

Do you have any helpful tips to add? Share with us below!

Image source Shutterstock.

  • have a clear and well thought out business plan and also see a financial advisor

    Reply

  • Sounds easy, but so many businesses fail. That’s what puts me off. Spending a heap, or borrowing a heap, of money to fail

    Reply

  • Great tips, thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • Keep it simple. I run my business from home as a PR Consultant. I have an office where all my work takes place. I see my Accountant once a year as I only pay tax annually, and I bill my services monthly. It’s simple and works for me.

    Reply

  • I would also add, get an excellent accountant. An amazing accountant will be able to provide you with advice on your budget, financial goal setting and keep a track of how your business is going.

    Reply

  • Important tips.
    My husband started his own business this year and it goes well :)

    Reply

  • Love tips on business – inspiring.

    Reply

  • All great tips that may come in handy in the future!

    Reply

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