PLATFORM: Setting up your Business

Session 3

In this session are two workshops. the first speaker was from Lowell Blake who introduced a business structure template to us to assess the feasibility of own business. the second speaker was from Ashton Legal about protecting our creativity: what are the Intellectual property rights & Contracts and Things I should be aware of.

Things I need to consider
Structure | Risk |  Types of Finance | Record keeping | Management Information | Business Plan | Employment Issues | Funding Help

The Business plan
What is the product or service.
who are my customers, suppliers and competitors.
Is my pricing right for my audiences?
How well do I do in Marketing and finance? i.e what kind of investment I need, costs involved, budgeting.
Who can I take advice?

Structure
Sole trader
Think about who are the owners of the business. what are the rules; are they easy to set up? what are the profits subject to income tax, and what are the risks and challenges involved.

Partnership
Partnership is a legal entity which consists of two or more individuals with shared ownership and responsibilities. There could be a shareholder/partnership agreement, and it has its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • shared ideas/tasks.
  • share intellectual costs
  • do not have total control
  • have to choose partners wisely.

Can there be a partnership in my business?

Consider limited liability Partnership (LLP) vs  limited company

LLP is a hybrid between Partnership and company, subjected to income tax. could be a useful approach as it opens more possibilities in terms of budget.

Limited Company is a separate legal entity, with limited liability. this approach is good for tax efficiency and planning, as well as limited liability. There could be directors and shareholders in a limited company, and subject to corporation tax.

Limited Company Formation is simple to set up. all there is to do is to choose a name, appoint officers and shareholders, decide on the share capital and come up with a shareholders agreement.

Type of finance
There are various ways to get financial assistances. It could be through – Bank loans,
– Third party investors (Equity)
– Enterprise agencies (Grants) who helps new and existing business in Funding, advice, training, premises.
– Crowdfunding

Records
Best is to keep it simple. Focus on the business, use Excel spreadsheets to record all income and expenses. Consult a Sage who can offer a solution for the account, payroll HR, advice business, etc. Companies Act – ‘Proper Accounting Records’.all these records could be cloud-based.

Management information
Keep it up to date. keep track of profits and loss, balance sheet and cash flow. take note of who are my Debtors and Can advise business decisions to you and your investors/ lenders.

Employment issues
understand the issues of employing someone to work in my company. Know what is the minimum wage. produce an employment contract and introduce disciplinary procedures and measures. Take note of Health and safety concerns of the employees, holiday and sickness pay.

Ready to trade – what next

Tell the revenue – know what is the cut-off date after the end of the tax year. Online registration:  what is my trade; when is the start date; personal details; income tax – taxed on all profits

 

Base on what factors to choose which approach works for me?

  • Profit level and what are the tax implications?
  • Risks-both financial and personal
  • Complexity –which has a stake in the business?
  • Hassle/costs
  • Future potential – what are your long-term plans?

 

Conclusion
Although this is in the context of the UK industry, some of these structures are still applicable in the context of my market region. I can find help in Revenue & Custom websites, Company houses and Enterprise agencies.

**************************************************

ASHTONS LEGAL
Exceptional client service every time – Protecting your creativity
James Tarling

Intellectual property rights & Contracts: Things I should be aware of

 

Copyright

You can’t protect your ideas, but you can protect the expression of your idea.

– arises on creation of your work
– prevents copying (or adaption) of a ‘substantial part’
– owned by creator work – unless created whilst an employee
– can be sold or licenced
-a complicated assessment
– can come out to common sense: Do they look the same?

You can create the work as an employee, but the work belongs to the employer: should not use company facilities to do own work, unless employers say so.

Fair dealing exemptions

  • Research and private study
  • Criticism and review
  • Quotation
  • News reporting
  • Caricature parody or pastiche

 

True or false?

  • You protect copyright by posting a copy to yourself? No.
  • All work eventually comes out of copyright? Yes but small “but”.
  • Images published on the internet can be used freely? False
  • Making 3 changes to a work avoids copyrights?

How do you protect from big companies?

Other Intellectual Property Rights?

  • Patents: inventions
  • Trademarks: Brand Names and logos register trademarks?
  • Design rights: the appearance of a product
  • Trade secrets: secret formula

Practical steps

  •  keeping your working paper
  • records of your research
  • date your work as you progress
  • obtain consent if using others works
  • google proposed brand names

 

Contracts

Commercial contracts are communicated through email. Oder product online, follow a link to a page. Contract considst of 4 things

  • Author
  • Acceptance of that offer
  • Consideration of offer/ value
  • Intention to create a legal binding relationship

Common contract

  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • License: can set limit to country or time.
  • Assignment: sell all the rights of the work
  • Terms and conditions
Title of agreement is irrelevant, but the details of the document are.

How to deal of contracts?

  • Don’t panic
  • Read it and ask questions
  • Who? what? when?
  • what you are each required to do clear?
  • How much and when you get paid?
  • Put it all in writing

 

 

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