Nockolds proudly supported the Start Up Britain Bus that arrived in Guildhall Yard on Tuesday morning. With partners such as the City Business Library we were pleased to be a part of it and it was a great success. We were charged with advising entrepreneurs and start ups on legal advice they may need.
We were asked a great deal of questions that day, some of which were very similar so this blog centres around the key things start ups need to think about when approaching the legal maze of being a start up. Example questions were as follows:
1. What is the difference between intellectual property and copyright?
Copyright is a type of intellectual property. Intellectual property is an umbrella name used to describe all types of things that need protecting, as important assets of the company. They include: copyright, design rights, patents, trade marks and so on.
2. I want to tell someone my idea but I am worried they may go and steal it from me
Consider having a non-disclosure agreement, or an 'NDA'. This is a document that agrees between you and the person you are disclosing information to, whereby the other person agrees not to steal your idea and then go and make money off of it. They can give you a piece of mind and the confidence to talk about your ideas openly and frankly.
3. But surely my document I got off the internet is fine?
This is a tough one. As solicitors we spend a lot of time getting to know client businesses, and are therefore properly able to advise on what may be required for them. On the internet, that personal touch is lost. Similarly, the documents are often drafted for another jurisdiction, such as the USA, or could be wholly unsuitable. The advice we give is only sign something from the internet after getting advice on what you are signing, and that using something off the internet is rarely going to be right for you.
4. I asked someone to create something for me. I own it don’t I?
Not necessarily so. This may be disappointing or even worrying news to you. You need to see what terms and conditions you signed when commissioning someone to work for you. They could, in law, be the co-owner of what was created. Its always important to nail down these terms before you get them to do the work. This way it saves disputes about ownership later down the line.
5. Do you offer fixed fees if I need your legal advice?
For start ups, generally yes, we can sort something out for you. Each client is different but where possible we try and work with your budget (within reason of course!). We love working with entrepreneurs and admire their creativity and zest for business. Therefore, do get in touch if you would like us to work with you!
For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact a member of our Business Law Team on 01279 755777.