How to Develop a Successful Business Idea

IL business attorney, Illinois business lawyerMost of us, at some point or another, have had those fleeting thoughts about a product or service that could serve as the foundation for a new business. On the other hand, maybe you have watched another company offer goods and services while knowing that you could do it better. So how does one go from the “idea” phase to the “action” phase of starting the actual business based on the idea? There are, of course, many steps, but the first important one is to determine whether or not the idea is truly marketable.

What Is Your Idea?

Not every business idea is going to grow into the next Microsoft or Google, and that is okay. A successful service or product is not necessarily going to break records or reshape the world as we know it. In order to be profitable, your idea simply needs to solve some type of problem for those you intend to reach.

With that in mind, you need to think about what your idea actually is. Is it a physical item that you intend to manufacture and sell? Is it an improvement on an existing product? Or perhaps, it is a service that you expect to provide for your clients in exchange for payment. No matter what you have in mind, a clear understanding of the idea is critical.

Learn as Much as You Can

Before you launch your business, you will need to research the viability of your idea and how it might fit into the current economic landscape. For some people, industry reports and formal market research studies are appropriate, but it is important to look at more than numbers. You should also talk extensively with friends, family members, and trusted business associates regarding your idea. Be sure to look beyond the friendly and supportive comments and to hear what they are saying about whether they would spend money on your idea. If you want a forum with fewer personal entanglements, there are thousands of message boards and other resources available online where entrepreneurs from all over the world discuss ideas and share their perspectives.

Keep Yourself Organized

By its very nature, an idea is nebulous, and even if you have jotted down a few notes, there are many factors that you will need to consider as you take your idea from a concept to a business plan. As early as you can in the planning process, starting writing things down. Make a list of potential advantages and disadvantages, and keep track of any challenges or opportunities that arise along the way. These records will serve as the basis of your business plan, even if you need to put the idea on hold for a time and you decide to come back to it later.

Work With a Wheaton Business Lawyer

If you have a possible idea for a new business, it is never too early to speak with an experienced DuPage County business law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Our team will provide the guidance you need and help you build your new venture from the ground up. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225513

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2019/10/30/nine-ways-to-figure-out-if-you-have-a-winning-business-idea/

Reward-Based Crowdfunding Can Result in Legal Problems for Entrepreneurs

DuPage County business lawyersOne of the countless ways the internet has changed the business world is through the introduction of online crowdfunding. Through websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, entrepreneurs can obtain the capital they need to begin businesses and create products. These websites are referred to as “reward-based crowdfunding” because there is generally an incentive for people to invest in the various projects. Funders may receive the actual product being developed or other benefits in exchange for their investment. Although raising capital in this manner has been wildly successful for some entrepreneurs, others have found themselves in legal trouble after becoming involved in a crowdfunding campaign.

You May Be Entering into a Contract Unknowingly

Because crowdfunding is relatively new, the legal ramifications of failed crowdfunded projects are not completely understood. Recent lawsuits against some entrepreneurs who used crowdfunding to gain resources prove that crowdfunding is not a perfect solution for those lacking start-up funds. If you wish to use crowdfunding to finance your project or business, it is vital that you understand the risks that should be avoided.

When an individual agrees to take money from people in exchange for certain benefits, he or she is likely entering into a contract with the funders. If you are not careful with the language you use to inform investors of your offer, you could be creating a contract without even realizing it. This means that when investors do not receive the benefits that they were promised, they can file a breach of contract claim against you. Forming an LLC is one way that you can help protect yourself from potential personal liability if your intended project fails.

False Advertising and Consumer Protection Laws

Those who wish to use crowdfunding must also be careful not to overpromise what their funders will receive or what the project objective is. Misleading language or incorrectly describing your project can make you vulnerable to claims of false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud. You can also be held accountable for under-delivering on your promises under consumer protection laws. It is essential that anyone using reward-based crowdfunding avoids misrepresenting both the project/product itself as well as the benefits investors will enjoy. Not only can claims be brought against you by funders, but claims can also be filed by governmental agencies.

Tax Implications of Crowdfunded Projects

Many people using websites like Kickstarter do not realize that the money they receive is taxable income. If you create a rewards-based campaign, you will be required to pay taxes on the money you take in from investors. Many entrepreneurs using crowdfunding to finance their project make the mistake of forgetting about this significant expense. It is crucial that anyone using a reward-based funding system consider the taxes that they will have to pay when creating the project budget.

Contact a Glen Ellyn Business Lawyer for Help

For sound legal guidance on a number of business concerns, contact the business law professionals at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Speak with a knowledgeable Wheaton, Illinois business law attorney by calling 630-665-2500.

Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/crowdfunding-legal-issues-for-small-businesses-398020

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/crowdfunding-is-a-popular-way-to-raise-money-just-dont-count-on-getting-a-refund-if-something-goes-wrong/ar-BBVX9FT

Avoiding the Most Common Business Partnership Killers

Illinois small business lawyersSavvy entrepreneurs often pool their skills and resources to increase the chances of success. Unfortunately, when a partnership is formed under the wrong conditions, this pathway to success can quickly become a business owner’s worst nightmare. Learn how you can avoid the most common business partnership killers in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned business law attorney can help you proactively mitigate the possibility of a failed partnership.

Partnerships Born from a Lack of Money or Skill

In an ideal partnership, business owners have “synergy,” or a way that they complement one another. As an example, one partner might have the marketing tools and resources that the company needs to be successful while the other has a knack for thinking “outside the box.” Unfortunately, if one partner “needs” another in order to achieve success – perhaps one person has the idea and marketing skills while the other possesses the capital to start the business – any potential benefit of a partnership may be lost. To avoid this issue, partners are encouraged to share expenses, not capital. Also, you should never give away something that is yours (i.e. information, ideas, etc.). Instead, create an iron-clad contract that can protect your ideas and concepts, even if the partnership ultimately fails.

Splitting the Business 50/50

Doing a 50/50 business split might seem like the best way to avoid conflicts, but it can actually do you more harm than good. In fact, successful businesses are rarely split right down the middle. Instead, most businesses have a 60/40 or 70/30 split, where one party (typically the one with the idea, but not always) owns more of the company. Not only does this protect you, should the business end, but it also gives your customers a “point of contact,”  a person who is responsible and accountable for operations.

Partnerships Without a Legal Contract

While as contract is not needed to start a partnership, entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to ensure they have one before embarking on a shared venture. Able to protect your business and ideas while also decreasing the risk of problems if the business fails, your contract should define every aspect of the partnership – from how responsibilities and shares are split to how the partners can exit the business if they so choose. An experienced business law attorney can explain your options and assist you in developing a contract that benefits and protects all parties.

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we prioritize the future success of our clients. Backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, our DuPage County small business attorneys can assist you with all aspects of starting your business. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/196912