Law Donut top five resources for start-ups

By: Fanny Marshall

Date: 14 November 2011

We’re always being told that people who start their own businesses (aka entrepreneurs) are risk-takers - people who feel the fear but do it anyway.

At Law Donut HQ, we thought our special GEW blog should perhaps be aimed at the rest of us - those who are a bit uncertain or not sure about what legal issues might crop up if we start a business, and therefore never actually give it a go.

So we’ve scoured Law Donut for, what we think, are the top five useful resources for you if you’re thinking about starting up but you’re worried you don’t know enough about legal requirements. Maybe you’ve already gone for it but need a bit more guidance on something specific.

1. Starting a business FAQs

If you’re thinking of starting a business, first read these FAQs that explain your key formation options: sole-trader, LLP or limited company and how to set these up legally. You can also find out about choosing a business name that’s legal (there are some words you’re not allowed to use), the details you must include on your business stationery and other legal essentials you may not have considered.

2. Litigation and insurance

Is the prospect of something going horribly wrong and you getting sued putting you off starting up? Read our fantastic briefing on litigation and insurance to find out what you can do to reduce the risk and the sort of insurance you can buy to protect you and your business in the event of legal action.

3. Intellectual property FAQs

“I’ve heard of intellectual property but I’m not really sure what it means or if it applies to me…” Sound familiar? If you own a business or are thinking of starting one, chances are you’ll have some intellectual property - whether it’s a website, logo or product you’ve invented. These FAQs are a great starter-for-ten (well, 11) on recognising what IP you’ve got and how to go about protecting it.

4. Unfair trading, trade descriptions and pricing FAQs

So you’ve got an awesome product you’re desperate to get to market and make your first million but you’re worried about trade descriptions and the rules on advertising, marketing and pricing. These 20 FAQs should answer most of your questions or at least point you in the direction of where you can find out more.

5. Employment contracts FAQs

You’re thinking of taking on your first employee but not sure how to go about it… Employment law is a ‘biggie’ - in fact it’s the largest section on the Law Donut - but we thought the smartest place to start if you’ve never employed someone is getting their employment contract right. There’s a lot to it and we’d always suggest you take legal advice before you become an employer for the first time, but sometimes that’s not how it works in the real world. If you read these FAQs, they should at least get you started on the basics. However, getting a friendly local solicitor to help you out in this area would definitely be money well spent.

Obviously these are just a sample of the great resources you can find on Law Donut, both for start-ups and growing businesses. We also recommend you visit our sister donut Money Donut - because if there’s one thing that can give you the heebie-jeebies when it comes to starting up, it’s facing an enormous tax bill with no idea where it’s come from or how to pay it. Good luck and Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

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