For ambitious businesses, taking early IP advice is key. If you have an intention to create something big, and to scale your business – into the equivalent of a chain of shops for a physical business – then take early IP advice. It could literally make the difference between success and failure.
Key areas for consideration when setting up your online business are:
- The name you use for your business and website – that is, trademarks and domains
- Your website
- Contractual documentation
The starting point for online businesses will be their website. If you only intend to commission a low costs website with little functionality then you can probably manage without legal advice if you are on a tight budget.
However, do consult us before engaging a web designer or developer if:
- your website involves complexity
- you are paying what represents a substantial sum of money for you.
- You have strict timescales to meet.
Whether you’re using web developers in India, or sourcing help through platforms like Elance or People Per Hour, it is essential that you set yourself up for success. This means using a formal agreement, and also securing the rights you need in the resulting website.
Buyer beware is the law’s approach. So, when it comes to websites and any other software development project the buyer has a lot more to lose than the seller if there is no written agreement in place.
Names and domain names
One of the earliest considerations for any business will be its name.
It is not widely known that you cannot use whatever name you like. Just because a domain or company name is available to register does not mean you are free to use it for your business purposes. You should consult lawyers experienced in trademark law before using a name.
A good starting point for further reading is our sections on
- Domain name law
- However, whilst everyone else will urge you to register a trademark, our advice is to devote resources on IP advice. You can then set your IP Strategy. Your particular business plans may point to delaying trademark registration and using your resources for other IP priorities.
As well as the basic contracts any online business needs, such as terms of business, website terms and privacy policies, there are a range of other contracts you may need which we are well placed to help with.
We assist with a wide range of agreements, including for more specialized purposes such as social networking and mobile apps. We have a wealth of experience in drafting commercial documents, and due to our knowledge of IP and IT law, are a good choice for online businesses.
The chances are that if you are aspiring to create the next Airbnb, your business will need terms to address your unique business model.
At Azrights we focus on the needs of online business, and consulting us will put you in a much stronger position to achieve your aims and to secure the IP in your business.
For further help call us on +44 (0) 20 7700 1414.