It can often feel like there is an overwhelming number of things to get done when you first start your own business. While there are certainly some very major tasks to accomplish, you cannot forget about your legal responsibilities. Below are four legal matters you need to take care of before you open your doors.

Entity Type

Determining the type of business you own matters a great deal from both a taxation and a liability standpoint. You’ll need to determine if you are a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or some other form of corporation. Each specific type of legal entity has consequences ranging from what you’ll pay in taxes to how the business would have to be wound down if you choose to leave, so make sure you talk to your attorney about this early on during the planning process.

Declaring Your Name

The name you choose matters for a number of reasons. You’ll need to do some research to make sure that you’re not treading on anyone else’s trademark, lest you find yourself facing down an expensive lawsuit after you’ve already spent a great deal on marketing. Once you find your name, make sure to register the trademark and to talk to your attorney about how you can defend it if and when someone else fails to do their own due diligence.

Your Business Insurance

You’ll absolutely want to discuss finding the right business insurance provider as soon as you can, as good insurance will help to protect you from several different issues during the earliest days of your operation. Though you’ll certainly need more than just business insurance, having this type of policy in place goes a long way towards helping you to be able to recover from what ought to be avoidable errors.

Liability Insurance

You’ll also want to look into liability insurance, if only because of the types of liability that your business will be open to are far more numerous than one might expect. Having good insurance in place doesn’t mean that you can avoid some of the legal issues that can get you into trouble, but it does give you a safety net if something unavoidable does occur.

Don’t be afraid to slow things down if you need to do so. If you can take care of these legal issues early on, you’ll have far fewer problems later. Failing to secure these basic issues before you open really can cause your business to fail before you make your first sale.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.