There are a lot of unknowns when you’re starting a new business, especially when it comes to the law. The law is a tough nut to crack and common sense rarely applies. At the same time, it’s extremely important because oversights can have serious repercussions for your business. The last thing any startup wants is to get caught breaking the law (especially if they didn’t mean to). Therefore, we asked our good friends at MAQS Law Firm to come by DARE2mansion and talk about the must-know-law for startups this Thinking Tuesday*.
MAQS’ managing director Rasmus Lund challenged us by sharing the top ten supercritical questions EVERY startups must ask themselves about their business. They are:
- What type of company do you have? (Aps, A/S, IVS or other? How is management composed – eg. advisory board, board?)
- Do several people own the company? (How do you protect each individual’s rights?)
- What are your capital needs? (How are you financing the company and what are you offering as collateral?)
- Do you have employees? (What are the terms of their contracts, work environment, insurance, etc.?)
- Do you know what about tax and VAT? (Do you have a good accountant, bookkeeping system, and a realistic budget?)
- What kind of insurance do you have or need? (In regards to employees, machines, products, product liability, etc.)
- Does your company require specific permits or compliance with certain industry or environmental rules? (eg. in regards to environment, alcohol, food etc.)
- Do you have any special intellectual property rights that need to be protected? (What is your IPR strategy?)
- How are you marketing and selling your services? (Do they follow industry code? Do you have a good standard contract or T&Cs with your customers ensuring your rights and limiting your liability?)
- Where are you running your business from? (Are you renting or owning a space? What kind of contract is it?)
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to get cracking on that now. The last thing you want is to be caught up a creek without a paddle. Obviously how you answer these questions will vary depending on your business, products, and the markets you operate in.
We know, of course, that lawyers may be perceived as expensive (sorry MAQS!), but the good news is that they can really be worth their money and save you from many disappointments and time consuming issues in the long run. Use people in your network who know the law (or have relevant experience) and when in even a little doubt ask a lawyer. They’ll know and tell you what the risk and price is and then you can make a qualified decision about how to proceed. Knowing when it’s critical to drop some cash on a lawyer can make all the difference for your business and we have ensured that MAQS will provide reduced prices for friends of DARE2mansion.
So, check out the above questions and make sure that your startup has gone through all the right legal hoops. We DARE you!
For The Top Ten Must-Know-Law List in Danish, follow this link: Jura Tjekliste til iværksættere-2
*Thinking Tuesday is a weekly tradition in the Mansion. It has been scientifically proven that Tuesday morning is the time of week when people are most depressed (we’re not kidding!), so to compensate we have created Thinking Tuesday. Every Tuesday morning, the Mansioners get together for half an hour to reflect and learn something new from their peers as well as industry experts that will help them shoot their startups into the Stratosphere.