You’ve got a great idea. Funding is looking good. You have an unbeatable marketing plan. What could be missing? It might not be the most interesting part of your startup plan, but it could be the most important in that you need to make sure that you’re observing all of the relevant rules and regulations. Especially if you are operating exclusively online there are mistakes to avoid that brick-and-mortar startups don’t need to focus on, so your plans for following the rules need to be specific.
Why Know the Rules?
The startup world is all about being a maverick and breaking rules. In fact, if you look at notable startups from the last decade or two, cautiously obeying the rules does not appear to have been part of their founding strategy. However, whether it’s ridesharing, room renting, social networking, or something else, all of those startups have found themselves the target of increasing regulations and even threats to their existence.
You can only outrun the law for so long, even if it’s law that hasn’t yet been written because what you are offering is so new. In addition, there are plenty of much more low-key regulations that you can be certain were observed even by these maverick companies. You don’t want to find your fledgling business in hot water because you didn’t cross all the t’s and dot every i. This is one area where better safe than sorry is the way to go.
Depending on the industry you’ll be working in, there may be extensive regulations you will be required to observe. For example, if one part of your business involves a fleet of vehicles, you need to be aware of which regulations and rules can apply to your fleet. One example is the necessity for drivers to keep a logbook.
You can review a complete guide to Electronic Logging Devices, which can make what would otherwise be a somewhat onerous requirement much easier to fulfill. Whether you’re launching a tech company, a restaurant or any other type of venture, be sure that you know the federal, state and local regulations you must follow.
Zoning, Business Entity and Other Legal Matters
Maybe you’re just getting a small home-based business up and running, and all of this talk of managing fleets or other large-scale projects seems to have little to do with your plans. However, you still need to make sure that you have filed the correct paperwork and other documents regarding taxes and legal issues. For example, are there any zoning issues with running a business out of your home? You might want to talk to an attorney about setting you up as a particular type of business entity.
There are a number of options if you’re not going to be a sole proprietor, and they all have different tax implications. In addition, if you are hiring employees, you will need to make sure that you are in compliance with employment law. This begins with how you advertise for and recruit candidates.
Regulations will also vary based on the size of your business. If you’ll be working with contractors, having an attorney prepare or at least review your contracts may save you time and money in the long run. These considerations are by no means exhaustive, and you should make sure that you address any other issues based on your specific situation.