LaunchHER says :: We are thrilled to offer the 4th in our LaunchHER Law series by our own Kara Jensen Zitnick, Esq. You won’t want to miss out on the first 3 in this tremendous series – be sure to check them out!
- Formalize Your Entity: move beyond the Sole Proprietor stage and choose a business entity that fits your venture. Whether it is Limited Liability Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, Partnership, or Corporation, taking the steps to create the actual legal entity for your business signals to all those you either currently do business with or hope to that you value your business endeavors enough to formally register as a legal business entity.
- Organize Your Identity: no matter in what medium you are presenting your business in (packaging, branding, logo, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc) your business should be readily recognizable. By combining consistent branding, along with referring to your brand in that same manner (ex: domain name, Twitter handle, and Facebook page name should all be the same, at a minimum) you elevate your business’ image by giving it instant recognition across multiple platforms.
- Intellectual Property Plan: embrace the protections trademark registrations, copyrights and patents can provide to your business. When you trademark your brand, for example, your business’ image is automatically elevated in the stream of commerce since you’ve secured all the rights to prevent brands with names too similar to your registered mark from doing business under a confusingly similar name. Create a plan and strategy to protect your business’ marks by utilizing the protections of trademark registration, copyrights and patents.
- Get It In Writing: formalize all business arrangements and agreements in writing. From independent contractors, to vendors, to creative work arrangements, to preventing the dissemination of your business’ information, an attorney can draw up contracts for you to use in the course of your business. Formal contracts not only protect you and your business’ interests, but by operating under a written contractual agreement, terms of the relationship you have with those subcontractor, vendors, etc you do business are spelled out for all parties. Contracts, when drafted properly, can prevent business disagreements from progressing to litigation.
- Be Your Business 24/7: realize that no matter where you are or who you encounter, whether it’s in real life, in-person, or online, you ARE you business. All of your actions (or inactions) will reflect on the image of your business. By maintaining a professional image and keeping your composure, staying true to who you are, your positive actions and interactions speak for themselves. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth is priceless to elevating the image of your business.