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5 reasons you need a lawyer to help set up your startup

Launching a startup presents many challenges. Budget, or lack thereof, is often a top concern for new business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors. Hiring a lawyer may currently be low on your priority list. However, it is more important than you think to consider speaking to an attorney when launching a new venture, especially if intellectual property (IP) is your startup’s key asset.

It’s not only about protecting your idea but also about licensing and using your product. Making sure you have the legal rights to not only the IP itself, but also for your employees to use the actual software you invented, for example, is crucial.

Why you can’t do without an attorney

  1. Your idea is your future. You need to protect it with a patent, which is much more complicated to apply for on behalf of a company than it is for an individual. If you try to do it yourself, you might end up in possession of the patent instead of the company.
  2. Licensure is necessary for the company. While a patent gives you the sole rights to your idea, your company still needs a license to use it. This involves a complex application that will be much easier with an experienced lawyer to help you with the process. Any mistakes on this application could have long-term consequences, including possessing a patent that no one at your company can actually use.
  3. Contracts and non-disclosure agreements. You will need an attorney to prepare legal documents for your employees to sign to protect the privacy of your intellectual property. This is especially important in the initial, most vulnerable research and development stages.
  4. Long-term IP strategy development. You’re launching a new company, which means you need to think big. A lawyer can help you assess the legal needs of your long-term plans for your intellectual property and help arrange everything necessary to protect your current and future assets.
  5. Business litigation resource. You will need someone to contact for any business litigation needs now that you’ve begun business operations. Establishing a relationship early with an experienced attorney is just good business.

As you form your business strategy, consider all the factors involved in long-term success. Protecting your intellectual property should be high on your list. Act now to ensure your assets are secure, now and in the future.

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