Starting a business is a dream for many of us. We long to work for ourselves, to start something special and to correct all of the mistakes that we’ve seen others make. Whether you want to work from home running an online business or start up a brick and mortar business, you’ll dream of making it a success. The growth of online business means that this dream can become a reality for many of us. You can start up on our own without massive amounts of money, you just need a big idea.

When you’ve got your big idea, one thing that you won’t dream about is having to stop after a few years. You’ll want your business to last. To turn into something special. Something that can support you and your family for the years to come and something that you will be able to leave behind when you are gone. To make sure it can do this, and that your idea can go all of the way, you need to protect it. Here’s what you need to do.

Shareholder Protection

Some businesses, you can start on your own out of your bedroom with nothing. For other ideas, you need more. You might need premises, investment or a partner to help you get going. What happens if this partner or one of your major investors or shareholders gets sick? Without shareholder protection, their illness could be the end of your start-up, even if they’re not involved in the day to day running of your company. Take out a simple policy to protect yourself.

Get a Patent

Your idea itself can’t be patented. You can’t claim an idea as solely your own; you can’t stop other people having the same idea. But, you can protect your business model, methods, processes, and anything else tangible. File a patient for your business or your product to ensure no one else can copy it. This also means that no one in the future will be able to accuse you of copying their business.

Updates

Whether your business is online or in the real world, you’ll use computers and the internet an awful lot. You’ll probably have a website to drive traffic, whether it’s the basis of your company or not. These systems need protecting to ensure they can run their best and to keep you safe from cybercrime and hackers. Do this by installing updates whenever they are available on your website, phone, computer and any other device you use.

Trademark Your Brand

You don’t need to trademark a name, slogan or logo to have certain rights to it if you use it in a business sense. But, getting a trademark offers further protection and makes any legal disputes easier to handle or avoid. A trademark is easy to get and usually lasts for ten years before you need to reapply.

Insurance

Many new businesses fail to realise the importance of insurance. If you run a business from home, you might not think that you need liability insurance. But, if you ever have any contact with the public, even at things like trade shows, you should take out a policy.

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