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7 start-up mistakes and how to avoid them

Setting up your business can feel overwhelming with hundreds of things to do simultaneously. Bringing in outside expertise can lighten your load and help you avoid costly mistakes

 Young people clutch their heads standing over bearded colleague who's made a mistake, start-up mistakes concept

Easy mistake: it’s tempting to pick speed over being more thorough when you’re busy

Starting and running a business can feel like a whirlwind at times. Quite often you’ll need to wear more than one hat, making decisions on everything from operations and HR to marketing. It can be easy to make start-up mistakes when you’re operating at 100mph, so we’ve put a list together of the typical problems faced by start-ups and how to avoid them.

#1 – Choose the right formation agent

The reason for using a formation agent to register your business is simple: it can be more cost effective and just as quick as going directly to Companies House. When you use a formation agent, they will also seek to provide a simpler online process with more professional guidance and help with added services after your business has been incorporated.

With our company formation packages, your company incorporation can take as little as three hours to complete and our online form can take 20 minutes to fill in. It’s an online process but you’re not alone while you’re doing it. Our support team can be on hand to help during office hours, 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, either by phone or email to make your company formation as straightforward for you as possible. Click below to see which package best suits you.

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#2 – Protect your privacy

When you set up your business, as well as your trading address, you must have a registered office address. Your registered office address is displayed on all company literature and public documents and is where all statutory documents from Companies House and HMRC will be sent, which can become a privacy issue.

LegalZoom prevents this potential privacy issue by offering our customers a Registered Agent Service. The Registered Agent Service acts as the middleman – all your business post, be it letters from the government or from customers, is sent to us. We’ll sift out the junk mail, then send everything else to an address of your choice. Start your company with LegalZoom today and take full advantage of this service free of charge for a whole year with our Peace of Mind package!

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#3 – Learn how to delegate

As a leader it’s your job to inspire your employees with your long-term vision for the company and do all the strategic planning. As your business grows, you’ll need others to manage certain areas of the business to ensure its success. Making sure you hire team members with skills different to your own, that’ll add value to your business is key. Relinquishing control to somebody who has experience will improve both your business and your ability to manage people well. Ultimately making you a successful leader.

#4 – Learn from start-up mistakes

Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow when you’re starting a business. Especially when eight out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. Being a start-up often means that you can be flexible and change your approach quickly as and when issues arise. Leaving you at an advantage when compared with larger and more traditional businesses. Removing fear of failure from your business and encouraging a culture of learning can help teams feel freer to innovate and be creative. Let’s avoid those start-up mistakes.

#5 – Protect your intellectual property

Starting a business is no small feat. You’ve worked hard to build your brand and create your products, so it makes sense to ensure that all your tangible assets are protected. Especially if you’re planning for long-term growth (which hopefully you are). Not thinking about IP or intellectual property is one of the easiest start-up mistakes to make. Theft of intellectual property is a common problem that costs the UK government £56m a year. Organised crime gangs cause significant damage to industries that produce high quality, legitimate goods. Patent, trademark and copyright protection are your best bets against what might potentially be a significant financial loss.

#6 – Put everything in writing

Regardless of the kind of relationship you have with your vendors, suppliers, employees and customers – making sure you have a well-defined, signed, and legally binding contract could save you a lot of time and money over any disagreements that might arise. It’s tempting to pick speed over being more thorough when you’re busy but making sure you have everything in writing almost acts as a kind of insurance in case you ever need it (which hopefully you won’t).

#7 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Being proactive in reaching out to and building relationships with experts can help you build a solid foundation for your business. These are the people who will know the intricacies of your business to ensure that you’re making the best decisions and avoiding start-up mistakes.

Whether you need help with legal advice, recruitment, tax or accounting, you can generally find somebody who will help you review contracts, establish a good tax structure and hire employees so you can concentrate on growing your business.

The LegalZoom customer support team are on hand to help during office hours, 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, either by phone or email to answer any questions you have.

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