Last week, Roc Girl Gang partnered up with the some of the incredibly talented female lawyers of Nixon Peabody to bring you our first “Taking Care of Business Seminar”. Time and time again during our panel events, our business owners share that they struggle with the “legal and business side” of their businesses. This is true especially of creatives. We might be passionate about our business idea but we don’t know the difference between a corporation and LLC and we don’t know where to start… scratch that, we do now! The team at Nixon Peabody sat down with nearly 100 business owners and dropped some serious knowledge. Here are our 3 takeaways…
Protect Your Assets!
Kristen Mollnow Walsh led us through this segment. One of the biggest mistakes a start up can make is not recognizing and protecting their intellectual property. But before you can protect yourself you need to identity what sort of assets need protection… ie: invention, website, brand, secret recipe, marketing materials. Once you’ve identified your intellectual property you can develop a plan of action. You can now protect yourself with trademarks, copyrights & patents… this will all depend based on what kind of business you are starting.
Form Your Entity: It’s Important!
Let’s start with the first question: why do I need to do this? Kat Murphy took us through this segment. We want to form an entity to avoid personal liability. Especially down the road. This is something that you want to do early on to avoid a big headache down the road. There are two options: Corporation or Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Our main takeaway from this segment was: form an entity early, don’t mix business & pleasure, get some legal help with this and ALWAYS GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!
Employment Issues are No Joke
Kimberly Harding took us through everything we’d want to know from worker classifications to wage and hour exemptions. She also urged everyone, whether you have one employee or one hundred, to create a handbook and policies. This helps with your company’s culture and sets expectations early on. It also will save you time in the long run (no one loves repeating themselves over & over!).
After these three segments we ended with questions and then broke up to sample all of the delicious bites and beverages. We mix & mingled with so many fabulous and dedicated business women and the sunset views on the Nixon Peabody rooftop had everyone lingering just a little bit longer. We want to thank Nixon Peabody again for hosting this free seminar. Now it’s back to taking care of business!