When you’re running an online business and you don’t address legal matters, it can come back to bite you. Why should we get the legality components straightened out right at the beginning when the business is small? How do contracts protect us from scope creep, disputes, and different expectations with the people we’re working with? What are the documents, agreements, and contracts we need to have?
On this episode, I’m joined by my lawyer and intellectual property attorney to many online entrepreneurs, Autumn Boyd, to talk about the due diligence we must have to protect our businesses.
An ounce of prevention by taking a little time on the front end will save you so much in time, trouble, headaches, and money. -Autumn Boyd
3 Things We Learned From This Episode
The very first thing you do when you start your business (05:19 - 07:03)
The first step you should take as you’re getting your business started is a search to make sure no one else is already using the name you’ve decided on. You can do a basic search on Google and through the patent and trademark office— which is free. In the US, we have trademark rights based on first use. If you’re the first, you get all the rights, and if someone else tries to use the same name, you have a right to ask them to stop.
Why you’re never too small to take care of your legal matters (16:45 - 18:48)
How contracts protect us and our businesses (20:30 - 23:01)
Contracts are important. You’ve got to be clear on responsibilities of each party and how to terminate a relationship if the needs arises. The contract protects you and the person signing it. Even though it isn’t a fun conversation to have, it is a necessary one.
Legal documents, contracts, and agreements in our businesses are not the most exciting thing to think about, but they are VERY important. The bigger we grow and the more people we work with, the more at risk we are if we don’t protect ourselves legally. By taking care of this stuff we’ll look more professional, and people will take us more seriously. We can take a lot of the emotion out of the formal stuff so it doesn’t come back to bite us. This is not a place to take a shortcut in our business, so we have to just get it done. If you’re running a business and you really want it go the distance, this is a step you can’t skip.
Autumn Witt Boyd is an experienced lawyer who helps innovative business owners reach their big goals. Together with her team at The Law Office of Autumn Witt Boyd PLLC, Autumn guides online and e-commerce businesses as they grow. She has special expertise in copyright and trademark issues, and her firm offers full-service legal support to creative businesses. Go to https://awbfirm.com/ for more information.
To grab Autumn’s 10 Step Legal Road Map® Checklist, go to https://awbfirm.com/checklist/.
Check out Autumn’s podcast here https://awbfirm.com/podcast/.