A business owner’s guide: legal essentials for running a business



Since your main objective is to get the business off the ground, as an entrepreneur, you mainly focus on transforming an original idea into reality, developing a systematic plan and performing thorough market research, thus forgetting about something extremely important, namely taking into consideration your legal responsibilities. Yes, you have creative ideas, you know exactly how to engage the audience, you analyzed the previous methods used by your competitors as well as their weaknesses and strengths, but do you understand the benefits and downsides of each business structure, do you have a privacy policy, do you follow business tax laws, do you have proper documentation for each employee? What are you going to do if another party steals your idea or manufacturing procedure? Have you considered getting trademarks, patents and copyrights? An entrepreneur must be passionate, we all agree, but if you do not comply with legal requirements then you can say goodbye to your entrepreneurial dreams because the law is inexorable.

Hire a competent lawyer and choose the right business structure

The biggest mistake you could make is avoid hiring a reliable and experienced lawyer. Whether we are talking about solopreneurs or partnerships, they have to meet the same legal requirements as big enterprises. Just because you are smaller, it does not mean that you instantly become invisible for the law. Since you will realize the necessity of benefiting from the services of an attorney sooner or later, it is wiser and more cost-effective to ask around for recommendations from the moment you decide to set up a business. This will give you the certainty that you will not have problems with the law in the near future.

Selecting the right business structure represents another important step that you simply cannot overlook. When exploring sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships and LLCs (Limited Liability Company), you have to pay close attention at least to the basics. For instance, did you know that once you choose sole proprietorship, you and your business will become “one” in the eyes of the law meaning that if someone sues your business, you will suffer personally because your assets will be at stake? Furthermore, there are two types of partnerships: general partnerships and limited partnerships, even though both of them involve several individuals at the head of the company. A corporation represents an independent legal entity, which makes it more complex and consequently, more expensive.

Think about an original name and register your business

The following step requires you to register the business; more specifically, you will have to find a unique name for your company and register it in order to get the necessary proof when opening bank accounts, applying for loans and performing business building activities. This process does not have to become time-consuming and daunting if you benefit from professional assistance, namely a competent lawyer. Submitting your business name request online or in person and registering your business in the given number of days is more than enough for not starting your business on the wrong foot, which is illegally. Whether you visit https://www.companyregistrationinsingapore.com.sg/corporate-services/register-company-singapore/ or consult with your lawyer, you can find out more about the subject. However, the main purpose of this whole operation is to impede the existence of more companies with the same name, which can mislead or confuse people. After every business owner registers his company, the name enters a vast database thus eliminating the possibility of duplication. If you decide to operate the business as an independent contractor or a sole proprietor, then you should know that there is no need or law that forces you to register the business.

Inquire about the recommended insurances and required licenses

Speaking of business operation, you have to get the recommended insurances, but also necessary licenses and permits. When it comes to employing people, whether full-time or part-time, some states demand you to have employer’s liability insurance. Furthermore, as an employer, you have certain obligations that you cannot neglect. These refer to payroll tax, record keeping, discrimination laws, superannuation, payment and entitlements, Trade Union membership. Other types of insurance that you should consider include professional indemnity insurance and product liability insurance. These two are very useful because they protect you in case one of your products has a flaw causing an injury to a customer or if your services lead to negative effects. Another priority of any business owners consists in the legal obligations regarding health and safety. If you do not meet the imposed requirements, you might face prosecution, a rise in insurance premiums or you might not even be able to buy an insurance in the first place.

Depending on the type of business you own and its location, you have to inquire about the permits and licenses that apply to you, which may vary at local, federal, territory or state level. The most common licenses involve health department permits, land use permits, occupational licenses, sales tax license and a general business operation license.

Consider getting trademarks, copyrights and patents to protect your assets

Even though the following step is not necessary, like resorting to Singapore Company Incorporation Consultants Pte Ltd is, you might want to take into account the possibility of filing for trademark protection to make sure that nobody else can use your original name. Furthermore, if you remember the first paragraph of the article, we mentioned that unless you get trademarks, copyrights or patents, other companies practically have the permission to steal your ideas or secret manufacturing procedures. If you think about it, intellectual property, which refers to creations of the human intellect, represents the most valuable element you dispose of because it practically differentiates your business from similar ones existing on the market. Even more, it allows you to enjoy the loyalty of old customers while attracting new ones showing interest in your offerings. Since the law does not force you to take this step, it is up to you to decide if your business really needs it. Remember that you operate in a very competitive business environment.