Your intellectual property (IP) lies at the heart of your new business. Without it, your business won’t stand out in the market and you will have nothing to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

With IP so vitally important, why do so many new businesses fail to adequately protect it? If you have plans to start a new business venture or have just recently embarked on one, make sure you begin correctly by avoiding these common mistakes.

Be proactive in creating an IP strategy

Your start-up needs direction and making the effort to plan your IP strategy out of the gate will benefit you down the line. Filing for patents, researching your market, and developing a coherent and dedicated mission for your business will take time; however, having a clear direction to pursue allows you to focus your efforts and ensure no time is wasted in achieving success.

Always put all agreements down on paper

The core of your business relies on your competitors not having access to your creative solutions and valuable trade secrets you have spent blood and treasure creating. Failing to properly protect those creations could spell the end before you begin. While oral agreement and firm handshake can be appropriate in some business contexts, it’s not enough to protect your IP.

Make sure to limit the amount of information you supply to outside parties to only what is strictly necessary. Additionally, take advantage of nondisclosure agreements in situations where sharing confidential information may be unavoidable, such as when seeking funding.

Don’t wait until an issue arises to get legal counsel

For most entrepreneurs entering into business, getting started is the most expensive part. You may feel inclined to avoid hiring legal counsel until you absolutely need it, instead opting to take on whatever you can yourself. Doing so, however, can have disastrous consequences.

While legal representation may not feel like it’s in your budget, biting the bullet right now can save you time and money down the line and may just save your business. Bilicki Law can help you create the strong groundwork your business needs to be successful. Placing a bandage on a foundation that has begun to crack over time will never provide the same strength and security as hiring a master mason from day one.