What to Ask: Intellectual Property and Incorporation | Caleb St.-Jean, Esq.
Starting a new business? UpCounsel attorney Caleb St.-Jean explains what every startup should be asking their legal team about intellectual property and incorporation2 min read
Are my personal assets protected?
Any business is a risk but owners should know exactly what they are risking.
Is my intellectual property protected?
Intellectual property can be a significant asset for any business but needs to be properly protected.
Am I in compliance with applicable regulations?
A business owner should know the relevant legal landscape to ensure that the business is not at risk of being fined or shut down.
Am I at risk of being sued?
A business owner should be aware of all potential legal risks that can seriously damage the business.
Am I keeping adequate records?
Part of compliance and risk minimization is to ensure adequate record-keeping.
What is the best way a small business owner can protect personal wealth and assets from business risks?
Incorporate and keep personal assets separate from business assets.
What is the best way a small business can maximize its tax deductions? (Optional)
Seek legal counsel early to plan ahead before major expenses or other changes.
What specifically are small business owners most confused about when you first meet with them?
How to leverage intellectual property.
How can quality legal services help a small business grow?
By minimizing risks and identifying key legal strategies.
How can quality legal services help small businesses save money?
By reducing risks, leveraging intellectual property, and planning for large expenditures.
How can small businesses maximize the value of their legal team’s services?
Identify topics of particular interest to your business and prepare in advance.
Should business partners have the same amount of equity in a company? Why or why not?
Equity should be determined by the value a partner adds to the business.
What are the top three things a small business owner should be aware of when purchasing an existing business?
Accurately determine the value, Determine why the business is for sale., Find out if there are any human resources issues or outstanding lawsuits pending against the company.
Do you have any other essential legal guidance for startups that you haven't already included in this survey?
Take extra with all founding documents.