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how to launch a start up

How to launch a startup

So you have the next big business idea and want to take your go at entrepreneurship, but how do you get from the idea phase to actually starting up a business?

Starting a business happens in stages. Knowing the whats, whens and hows regarding the legal requirements to operate your business is one of the first steps you should take and can be just as essential to launching a new venture as the goods or services you’ll be selling.

The Whats?

When considering launching a business, information is power. As a budding entrepreneur, you need to research your potential market space, competitors, consumers, operation processes, etc. You must also take on the less appealing but equally important task of learning about the legal requirements to run and protect your planned business in the state, county, and city in which you will operate. Whether you’re launching a Game of Thrones character name generator app or a line of ironic, Ken Bone red sweaters, you’ll need to find out what types of business filings and registrations are required.

Moreover, you may need to protect your business idea through a non-disclosure agreement when speaking with potential investors/partners or by trademarking the name/logo you plan to brand with.

The Whens?

Now that you know what you need to do, when does it need to be done? For example, when is the right time to incorporate your business so you can start marketing a new product while protecting yourself from liability? If you anticipate hiring employees, when do you have to register as an employer? By understanding the timeline in which certain matters need to be addressed, you can prioritize your tasks by importance and deadline requirements.

The Hows?

With a list of action items and a timeline in hand, you are now one step closer to having a full grasp of the legal landscape in which you plan to launch your business. The final question to ask yourself is how? As in, how will I accomplish these requirements and how much will it cost me?

By in large, legal work can either be done by a licensed person/entity or by someone acting on his/her own behalf. When looking to incorporate your business, for instance, you’ll want to explore your different options such as hiring an attorney, using a corporate filings service like Rocket Lawyer, or filing the necessary documents yourself. Each of these options comes with a different level of service, confidence, and price point. Once you’ve evaluated your different options, you should create a legal services budget and work toward using the best legal service options that fit your spending plan.

As a general rule, entrepreneurs should try taking a bootstrap approach, especially in the startup phase. Still, you don’t want put your business at risk, just cut costs. You must figure out where you are comfortable doing things yourself and where you need professional help. Price shop and gauge value. It is cheaper to do things properly right off the bat, then trying to fix a mess down the line.

Getting answers to these the what, when, and how questions can feel like a daunting, expensive processes. Rocket Lawyer is here to help, offering affordable legal solutions at your fingertips.

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