Berlin Startup Tour Zachary Hiller Law Houston, TX

Berlin Startup Tour

Having the next BIG idea drives so many entrepreneurs to take a leap of faith and launch their own start-up. The world of these start-ups are focused on developing their project, finding investors, creating their brand and getting everything to market; typically at breakneck speed. Brainstorming ideas, formulating logos and crafting tag lines can be a fun creative exercise. It is easy to forget how important it is to slow down and protect these ideas. Securing intellectual property is one of the most important legal steps to take when starting a company and it cannot be ignored during all the excitement. After all, the definition of intellectual property is the ownership of ideas; a savvy business owner needs to ensure that their company retains control of the ideas that drive their business.

So much of what makes a start-up thrive is the people that are working with the company. The right people are vital to its success but without the appropriate protections in place, these same people can also be an invitation to disaster. If your start up plans on working with the following people you might need to consult an attorney:

Employees: Hiring the right team is the life blood of a start-up company. Getting the right mix of drive, intelligence and experience is only part of the equation. It is just as important to set out the appropriate guidelines that ensure your employees work become property of the company. A well-crafted employee agreement can help communicate the expectations and regulations that your company needs to run smoothly. These agreements can cover everything from email privacy issues to trade secrets. A little planning ahead can help protect the company should an employee decide to jump ship for another opportunity.

Independent Consultants: Often times start-up companies must rely on short-term outside help for a myriad of small projects. Freelance, independent consultants can often fit the bill for these little tasks. Perhaps it’s building a website or designing a logo for your new brand. A company has to know that these products belong to them, and only them, when the project is complete. A comprehensive consultant agreement can cover any work-for-hire issues that may arise, ensuring that the copyright for a creative design becomes the intellectual property of your brand and not the artist that created it.

Vendors: Most companies cannot operate in a vacuum, and must rely on vendors for supplies, equipment or even assistance in manufacturing. The more people that your company works with the more opportunity for your BIG idea, or at least talk of your big idea, to sneak out into the world. This is why non-disclosure agreements are another invaluable tool in a start-ups arsenal. A well written non-disclosure agreement can mitigate any damages should loose lips sink any of your ships.

These agreements only cover a portion of the potential intellectual property pitfalls that a new business can prevent with the right attorney. Since every start-up needs employees, consultants, and vendors over the course of time, they will need a great intellectual property lawyer. Working with our office can help you succeed, while keeping your company protected. Contact the offices of Zachary Hiller today to protect your start-up and have your company grow to what you’ve always imagined.

Next week we will look at some other potential IP pitfalls for start-ups.

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