• By: Parul Das
  • Published: May 6, 2024
Contracts and legal documents for New Business Needs In Texas. - The Das Law Firm

Essential Contracts When Starting Your Business

If you’re like most businesses out there, you’ll need at least a few contracts in place as your business gets off the ground. Formation contracts aside, I’ve found that the vast majority of businesses find either employment contracts or independent contractor agreements to be extremely useful. Of course, this depends on the type of business you’re running. Many of my clients prefer independent contractor agreements because they choose to work with vendors who take on multiple projects instead of hiring employees.

Non-disclosure agreements are also quite popular. Although most people don’t think they need them at first, their opinion tends to change once they contact me. Many times, when I ask a new client whether they have an NDA, there’s a slightly awkward silence that follows. After a few moments, that silence breaks when the client says, “No… but I probably should have one, shouldn’t I?”

While an NDA may seem like overkill before you really think about it, these agreements are especially important when you have something like a recipe, concept, or mechanism of some sort that’s not publicly available yet. A simple NDA can make the difference between a wildly successful business and an idea that never gets off the ground.

Many also fail to realize the significance of solid website policies. A lot of people use a generic template they find online for their business’ website. More often than not, though, these templates are not at all tailored to their industry, let alone their specific circumstances. Because of this, their online policy doesn’t do anything at all to meaningfully help them.

For example, let’s say that you sell a digital document or a course. If this is the case, your website policy should include a notice detailing how use of the website is free. Then, you should have a separate notice for visitors advising them of the terms of purchase. Of course, most people I come across don’t think to do this. Why would you if you don’t have any experience with starting and running a business? Fortunately, that’s exactly what I’m here for.

In some ways, going hand in hand with this, a lot of people don’t realize they need privacy policies in place. Whether you merely have affiliate links on your website or you share an Amazon commission link on your blog, you need the proper FTC disclosures in place.

I could go on and on about this – particularly if I were to open the topic up to include intellectual property. For the purposes of this book, however, I’ll close this subject by saying that there are a myriad of contracts out there that you may have never even considered. This is just another reason why working with an attorney is so beneficial: it gives you the opportunity to ensure that you’re covered from every angle – even the ones that you didn’t know were there.

Licenses And Permits

The specific legal requirements for starting a business in your area will vary based on your state’s laws. A good starting point is to reach out to your local county clerk’s office. They will most likely be able to provide you with resources, including websites, phone numbers, and forms specific to your area, that can address any issues you’re experiencing at this point in the process.

In addition to this, their websites often have great FAQ sections. However, if you’ve checked their website but are still coming up short on the information you need, you can either call them directly or visit their office in person.

County clerks and their staff tend to be incredibly helpful. In fact, they may even go above and beyond your immediate needs and answer questions you didn’t even know you had! For instance, if you’re considering launching a home catering business, they’ll typically outline the required permits, tell you the frequency in which you’ll have inspections, and give you an idea of the total amount in fees you’ll have to pay.

Reaching Out To Your Community

So much of starting a business lies beyond the administrative demands — you need emotional and mental support. Naturally, this will look different for each person, but it’s important to connect with people.

Fortunately, harnessing the power of community is easier than ever before with the internet and social media. There are so many Facebook groups and organizations available now; it’s truly remarkable. What’s more, some of these groups are incredibly niche, so if you have a unique need, there’s a good chance you’ll find others who are dealing with the same things.

I have the privilege of representing a few food companies, so I recently went to a conference for consumer-packaged goods because a client invited me. I was floored at how tight-knit the community seemed and how willing they were to help each other out. My advice? Find out if there’s a group like this in your area. If you can’t find any that meet in person, see if there are any Facebook groups that might help.

Strong Branding

Part of building a successful business is good branding. Over my time in the legal space, I’ve been happy to flex some of my other skills by helping a number of clients rebrand their enterprises.

One of the most frequent instances where this becomes necessary is when a small business client of mine secures venture financing. With larger investments comes more sway over the company, so if a new investor doesn’t like the name of the enterprise or its branding, they will include the condition of rebranding the business as part of their investment. When things like this happen, I roll up my sleeves and get to work!

My rebranding package includes ten clearance searches and two sessions with the design firm that’s creating my client’s logo and branding. These sessions can be pretty intense as we work together and brainstorm. Sometimes, they can even be a bit nerdy… “What about the Latin root of this word?” “What about this Greek goddess?” As we look at different languages and cultural points of reference as part of the creative process, these are just a couple of the questions you’d hear as a fly on the wall.

After we whittle down our list, I start doing clearance searches. As these searches begin to “dry up” our options as we find that some of the ideas are already taken, I go back to my client in real-time so we can address any issues and devise something else that works from both a legal and marketing perspective. Sometimes, this can mean we combine two ideas from early on in the creative process to create a totally new and distinct trademark.

Whenever I finish this process for a client, I am reminded how invaluable it is to have a lawyer with access to these resources when you’re doing branding. They provide real-time feedback so you don’t end up wasting money by mistakenly putting the cart before the horse and choosing something that is already being used.

This is especially important when you consider that there is a key difference between branding and naming and enterprise. A name is just a name, but the brand is everything around it. It’s one of the most important things to your business, so make sure you get it right — in every way — out of the gate!

For more information on New Business Needs In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (214) 307 9868 today.

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