Do you have an idea, hobby or a business
Formation -- May 15, 2021

Do you have an idea, hobby or a business?

One of the top questions we get as a startup lawyers is: “SHOULD I start a business with my product/service?”.

Now, here’s the deal – no one can tell you what you “SHOULD” be doing with your life – everything is truly within your decision-making control.

What you can glean for your own information, are the facts needed before you proceed.

After so MANY people asking us – we finally created an informal test for starting a business from an idea, or a hobby.

 

It really all comes down to LIABILITY, RISK and YOUR PLANS for GROWTH.

 

IDEA: You have an idea for a product/service that you think can go big (or really just help people). You’ve seen a gap in the market or you’ve been personally affected by that gap. You think others would benefit from your idea.

 

What you do with an idea, today:

  • Begin that executive summary or business plan.
  • Perhaps, talk to potential investors (if you need money or capital to begin) with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect the confidentiality of your idea first.
  • Figure out who your Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Customers are.
  • Put up a landing page (on Leadpages or WordPress) inviting potential customers NOW.
  • Test, test, test that idea.

 

Cold facts: Your idea doesn’t have real merit until someone actually spends $ or invests into it, as a solution to their problem.

 

HOBBY: You have an idea that actually has fans (fans = PAYING CUSTOMERS). You make 1 or 2 sales a month and are happy with this pace. OR you may be getting increased sales every month, and may be getting concerned about increased liability. You may or may not be sure of the momentum or the end possibility but are enjoying the side-hustle lifestyle. You definitely want to grow it but are not pressed about the future (at least for next 6 months).

 

What you do with a hobby, today:

  • Protect yourself with basic contracts such as a Client Agreement or Website terms of use & disclaimers.**.
    Your assets are still NOT protected should anything go wrong and you do NOT need a company structure to have contracts in place. Every idea & hobby needs contracts.
  • Keep a basic Excel spreadsheet of your expenses, revenue & profit margins.
  • Check in with your Business Plan and make Quarterly Goals.
  • Decide today if you want to expand into a business or even a Company within the next 6 months.


No judgment if you don’t want a business. Some of the best services out there are actually run by hobby-ists that just enjoy the ACT of providing the service, without goals of expansion or profit.

Just protect your ass-ets in the meantime.

BUSINESS (not Company): You’re banging out sales and increasing month by month. You definitely are concerned about liability and how to protect yourself. You’ve got plans to expand and take this big and affect more people than you are today.

 

What you do with a for-profit business, today:

  • Protect yourself with basic contracts such as a Client Agreement or Contractor Agreements & disclaimers in the interim**.
    Your personal assets are still NOT protected should anything go wrong, but you do NOT need a company structure to have contracts in place.
  • Decide today if you want to incorporate into a formal company – LLC or Corporation within 6 months.
  • Get your Business clique together (Accountant, attorney, banker, insurance agent) before incorporating. Consult with them about your specific liability and risk factors.
  • Get QuickBooks or another accounting software to keep track of your expenses, profit & revenue (Excel still works, too!)
  • Your Business Plan is still an active tool in your growth. Make Quarter goals on your timeline for INCORPORATION, sales growth and revenue milestones.

 

Still unsure?

Drop as a line at info@selvalaw.com.

Stop “Should-ing” – Start “eXecuting”.

**This information is for educational use only and is not intended as legal advice nor to create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact your legal professional for guidance on your specific matter**
(c) 2021 Startup Dox by Selvarajah Law PC

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