So having “incorporated” (I assume you have read my first post on this subject) we now move on to the next step of the seven steps we need to think about when starting a start up, namely:
- Incorporation of an entity
- Choosing a Name / Brand
- Getting Online (assuming you are a tech or online commerce business)
- Data Protection
- Building Your Team
- Protecting Your Idea
- Doing Business
By way of a reminder this series of articles is not intended to be an exhaustive list of what needs to be done but rather an anecdotal fireside chat about setting up a start up and preparing for business.
Part 2: Choosing a Name / Brand
The name of a start up company is important as it is often the cornerstone of its marketing, branding and image which more often than not it needs to get right to get traction, in its chosen marketplace. The good news is that you don’t have to get it right the first time as changing a company name is fairly straight forward so even if you do get it wrong the first seven or eight times you can still change it.
There are, of course, some restrictions in terms of what words you can use but they are easy enough to avoid when you have that list (and here it is: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/incorporation-and-names/annex-a-sensitive-words-and-expressions-or-words-that-could-imply-a-connection-with-government) and naturally it goes without saying that the name should not infringe anyone else’s intellectual property.
On that note once you have settled on your name it is important to consider a trademark application in order to protect your rights against third parties.
Part 3: Getting Online (assuming you are a tech or online commerce business)
With around 85% of UK businesses in 2022 having a website this is a must if only to legitimise whatever the start up is doing in its market. When choosing a name for the start up it is important to secure the corresponding domain name (assuming it is available) to ensure you get the website you want.
To this end a start up will want to consider hiring a web developer to populate the website. The catch here is that you need to ensure that all of the intellectual property to the website is transferred to the start up and that it doesn’t accidentally stay with the developer.
Of course, there are other ways to get an online presence using other social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest… the list goes on and on and each one comes with it’s Terms and Conditions and its pound of flesh!
Part 4: Data Protection
If you collect data or process data on anyone, chances are you will be caught by the UK’s data protection legislation. There is an obligation on such business to register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and there are ongoing obligations as to what you can and cannot do with this data.
There are also some internal facing and some external facing data protection issues that must be complied with. All of the data protection aspects are straight forward to get into the right shape, so it is important to get your head around it sooner rather than later.
Further advice on the next steps will follow in the next article in this series.
Contact our Corporate & Commercial Team
If you are an entrepreneur and would like help with the legal aspects of a start up or if you have any general queries concerning and need a helping hand to guide your initial steps, please contact Michael Kashis in the Corporate & Commercial team or call on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the team.
The above is accurate as at 03 November 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.