For many, the “American Dream” is all about entrepreneurship. Business ownership is a way to declare personal independence and even though the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened the economy temporarily, it hasn’t quieted America’s entrepreneurial spirit. As a matter of fact, new businesses are starting despite the economic slowdown as evidenced by the recent number of EIN or Federal Tax ID applications for new businesses filed since mid-March (more than 500,000).
But startups are not where all the entrepreneurial action is. Current business owners have been busy, trying to keep their businesses running at all costs.
Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur or a seasoned small business owner, as we celebrate the nation’s independence, it’s vitally important you protect your path to independence—your business.
Protect Your Business
Whether you’re looking to formalize your business idea or already in the throes of business ownership and want to protect your investment, incorporating your business can help shield you from personal liability if anything goes wrong at your company. The legal structure of your business is your first line of defense in case of legal or financial risk. If your business operates as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, your personal assets are in jeopardy because you’re personally responsible for the actions of the business. As a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), your business is a separate entity and therefore the risks belong to the corporation.
Some of the legal and monetary problems all businesses may encounter include:
- Trademark infringement lawsuits
- Work-related vehicle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents at their offices
- Employment discrimination
- Claims of breach of contract
- Sexual harassment accusations
- Faulty products
- Nonpayment of bills/debts
Currently, businesses may now also have to worry about being sued over issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as workers and customers contracting the virus from the business or the staff.
Once a business is registered and established as a corporation or LLC, the business stands as a separate legal entity from its owners. Therefore, its legal and financial liabilities do not put the owners’ assets at risk. Although the registration process is a bit more time consuming and costly, the liability advantages the corporate or LLC legal structure provides more than makes up for the compliance requirements.
Protect Your Brand
One of the first steps to protecting your rights as an independent business owner is to protect the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. A business trademark could be a word, phrase, name, or symbol identifying a product or service and distinguishing it from other players. Registering for and securing a trademark can protect your company name, product names, logos, and taglines.
Of course, you could decide not to trademark your brand, but without the protection of a federally registered trademark:
- It’s easier for competitors to steal your brand.
- It’s easier for competitors to sue your company for trademark infringement.
- You might unknowingly be using an unregistrable trademark. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires registered trademarks to not be confusing, generic, or insulting.
- You cannot pass on your company name if you decide to sell your business.
Registering your business name with the Secretary of State does not offer the same protections as a federally registered trademark. Although a state may authorize your business to form with a specific name, another company with trademarks can try to prevent your use of the business name if they believe consumers will be confused. And do not think just because your business secured a domain name or web address means you’re protected. Domain names are registered via an accredited domain name registrar and you could be asked to give up the domain if it infringes on other trademark rights.
Trademark applications must be filed online at the USPTO website. The process is time-consuming so you might consider outsourcing the application through a third-party like CorpNet. We at CorpNet understand the complexities of the application procedure and can prepare your application within 48 hours.
Protect Your Success
Once your business is growing, you will want to protect your independence and secure your position in the market by offering more services. With the world still social distancing and customers looking for products and services to provide the easy solutions they need, becoming a one-stop shop can go a long way in securing the client loyalty you hope to achieve.
Especially if your company serves other businesses, finding ways to serve their needs without having to outlay a ton of cash makes sense in today’s economy. Are you a:
- Business consultant or business coach?
- Accountant or CPA?
- Tax advisor or tax preparer?
- QuickBooks advisor?
If any of these descriptions describe your business, there is a way to grow revenue without adding overhead. The CorpNet Partner Program was created for business professionals and has no setup or annual fees. Partner with us and get wholesale discounted pricing as a white label reseller of our business filing and corporate compliance services or become a referral partner and refer your clients to us, receiving a referral fee for each sale.
Services provided include:
We require no minimum sales volumes to participate in the Partner Program and we’ve created our program to suit the needs of your business and your clients. Let CorpNet help you secure your independent future! Apply to participate today!