Expert Legal Analysis from NYC-based law firm Pardalis & Nohavicka.
Create A Winning Business Plan:
Starting a small business or startup can seem like a daunting task that leaves you wondering where to start. The best place to begin is by creating an executive summary which is essentially your business’s calling card. Here are some items to think about when outlining your business plan:
○ Start with a company overview clearly outlining: your mission statement, a summary of the company’s legal structure and ownership, company history, and location.
○ Your company’s products & services: Explain the core of what you are trying to achieve and detail the problem you are solving, how you are going to solve it, your competition and your edge. Be sure to include the technologies you are using, intellectual property that you own, and what you plan to build.
○ Marketing & Sales Plan: What strategies are you using to reach your target market, promote your offerings, and generate sales and revenue.
○ Milestones, Metrics, and Management: Be sure to include relevant team bios and why your management personnel are the right people for their jobs. Investors very often invest in people more than products.
○ Finance: How much capital does your business need to get started or to grow? Where will it be spent?
Forming Your Company:
With your business plan in hand, what was once an idea is now in action. The next step is choosing the structure of your company, which allows you to protect your personal assets from your business. You’ll need to decide which form of entity is the right choice for you. The most common two types of entities are:
○ LLC: A business entity which is legally separate from its owners, allowing business owners more flexibility when managing their company. An LLC is often the best choice for new business owners but is a little more costly than a corporation (see below).
○ S-corp: An S-Corp is a regular corporation that instead offers small business owners more tax benefits but has stricter guidelines than an LLC. S-corps usually cost less than an LLC and are often preferred by the more budget conscious.
Other types include: Partnership, LP, LLP, C-Corp, Sole-Proprietorship.
Protect Your Intellectual Property Early:
Now that your business plan and company formation is complete, it is vital that you immediately protect your intellectual property. By making this step a priority, you avoid common obstacles like realizing late in the game that another company is using a variant of your name and now wants to sue you. Here are some things to think about:
○ Depending on your products or services, what kind of intellectual property do you need to protect? This affects whether you need to register for a trademark, copyright, or patent.
Most entrepreneurs forgo obtaining an attorney at the beginning stages of their business journey due to thinking they do not need one yet. It is never too early to register your trademark and protect your intellectual property.
Partner, Taso Pardalis
Pardalis & Nohavicka