For everyone trying to make it as an entrepreneur or business owner, a proper business plan is like a spring board towards great professional heights. A lot of thought goes into developing one that’s right for your company. Plus, the startup market is getting increasingly competitive, so you have to do your homework really well!
Firstly, examine your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – a handy exercise that is better known under the acronym SWOT. Apart from analyzing your own firm, you should also take a closer look at your targeted and/or current customers, competitors, as well as the industry in general. Upon this collected input, build a business plan composed of a strategy that is backed up with specific, carefully chosen tactics. We’ve covered this in greater detail in our post on why your business needs a business plan, so go ahead and take a look.
Once you’ve sketched the outlines of the business plan that will skyrocket your startup into the success orbit, check there isn’t any leakage that could eventually bring down your otherwise splendid business concept. Remember, even the greatest ship will sink if there is a hole in the underwater hull.
So, is your business plan legally watertight?
Among other things, a business plan serves the purpose of a showcase into your enterprise for everyone who could invest in it, or become a part of it in some other way. Considering that a business plan is often the first impression you get to make on potential lenders or investors when you try to raise funding, it is quintessential you make it a good one. This means your plan has to be absolutely impeccable from a legal viewpoint. When providing your company overview, it is key you clearly and correctly list the basic information that includes your legal entity form, address, contact details and executive summary with short bios.
Licences and Registrations
Before you venture out into the business world, prepare the foundations by becoming as familiar with the laws that apply to your business structure and the industry itself as possible. Prior to starting any activities, your business should be officially registered. The UK government offers a clear overview of what you need to do in case you want to register as a sole trader, limited company, or business partnership.
In most cases, depending on your line of business, you will also have to obtain licences that will ensure your firm is compliant with the law. When setting up the essentials for your future business activities, you want everything to run smoothly. This is why you can benefit extremely from high-quality expert guidance, as your selected lawyer can lead you through the often overwhelming labyrinth of legal requirements and conditions.
Check within your country’s trademark office that none of your brand identity elements isn’t already taken by someone else. These include your firm’s name, logo, tagline, and every other aspect of brand identity that can compromise its legal health right off the bat. After all, brand identity is a part of your intellectual property: we’ve covered this topic in our latest post on how to protect it from a legal standpoint.
What is a business plan without the brains that will execute it? When developing any kind of strategy, it is vital you have in mind the type of talent you want to attract and get to work for you (and with you!). What key skills and qualities should your partners and employees have? Albeit well-worth the trouble, recruiting is anything but easy. What is more, employment laws tend to be very intricate, especially if you have no prior experience or knowledge of the subject. This is why you should never skimp on good legal service when it comes to outlining the expectations and responsibilities of your employees and partners. Contract clauses should cover regular matters such as salaries, decision-making, and contributions – but also the less pleasant, yet extremely important topics of possible dissolution, illness, and death.
A business plan is just one of the prerequisites for setting your company afoot, but there are a lot more tricks to this exciting journey. We’ve lowered the branch, now it’s up to you to pick up the hanging fruit: here are our condensed and easy-to-follow tips on the logistics of a startup in a free eBook!