So you have successfully incorporated your company in Singapore, but when it comes to legal matters associated with your start-up business, it is wise that your proceed with caution. This blog article aims to lighten the load off your shoulders by highlighting some important legal tips you should know and keep in mind.
1. Seek professional legal advice
There is no denying that consulting a legal professional is not only costly but also time consuming. However investing on legal consultancy fees would give you peace of mind that will then allow you to remain focused on the operational needs of your business. As the business grow, it is important to ensure that all legal aspects are in order from the start.
2. Think about your personal assets
It is important to make an informed decision on which incorporation structure to adopt for your business. It could be partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership. Such partnership structures will determine how much each partner will own in the business, define the degree of accountability on each partner for risks, debts, losses and other legal obligations that the business may incur in the long run.
3. Document all agreements in black and white
Enforcing verbal and/or implied agreements are tricky and unprofessional when it comes to running a business. Having a formal documentation is important as it serves as your first line of defense and a point of reference in the event that an issue or conflict arises between concerned parties. Some examples of basic business legal aspects in documents are employment terms, non-disclosure and non-competition clause. This mentioned examples are non-exhaustive.
4. Observe trademarks
Trademarks are a way for consumers to recognize and associate a product and/or services with a specific company. It is important that you and your team do research on existing trademarks registered by other companies. This is to prevent the probability of modifying your trademarks or start from scratch, after you have been informed that your current trademark is similar or have already been taken by others.
5. Protect your intellectual property (IP)
As entrepreneurs, it is vital that you protect your "trade secrets". The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is the authorized government body overseeing the registration of trademarks, patents and designs for businesses, professionals, students and the general public. Moreover Singapore is ranked top in Asia for having the best IP protection.
Being a business owner, it is inevitable that your business will face many challenges that will require you to make informed decisions and calculated risks, but facing a lawsuit should not be part of your bigger plan. For your business to grow today, you must be able to at least have a generic understanding of running a business, including the legal aspects of your business.