So, you are thinking of starting a business? And you don’t know what are your legal obligations?
Let’s take a look.
Firstly, consider the legal structure of your business. Will you be a sole trader, partnership, or limited company?
Regardless of which structure you adopt you will need to register with the Revenue Commissioners for taxation purposes. If you set up a limited company, you will be paying corporation tax on your profits; if you do not incorporate a company you will be accounting to the Revenue Commissioners on a self-assessment basis.
You may also need to register for VAT, depending on your business and its turnover, and as an employer.
If you are simply setting up an online business there is no additional regulatory steps you need to take; obviously, you will need a website but you do not need any legal permission or registration for this.
However, if you want to get an Country Code TLD (top level domain) name you will need to apply to IEDR.ie which is the Irish IE domain name registry. This body helps to protect your domain name and provides a process by which domain name disputes can be resolved.
You may also avail of the services provided by Local Enterprise Offices who provide assistance, support, training, and other resources to entrepreneurs and start-ups. The Local Enterprise Office website is worth checking out, too.
From a legal/regulatory perspective you will note that setting up a business is a straightforward task with a minimal number of bureaucratic hoops through which to jump.
The most critical factor in your success will be obtaining clients or customers and providing such a good service or product that your business will grow through a mixture of new client acquisition and repeat business from satisfied customers and good word of mouth.
Once you get a bit of momentum you can look at the most effective ways of promoting your business and acquiring new business. This will almost certainly involve some element of digital marketing, including social media marketing.
Beware of spoofers
You will also need to have an inquiring, learning mind to growing your business and learning from those who have gone before you and made mistakes and successes. You can learn a huge amount from books of successful entrepreneurs, for example. Most of these people made costly mistakes from which you can learn without the need to repeat the mistake.
The power of books in this regard is enormous and if you do not like reading or if you don’t have the attention span to apply your mind to a book for at least one hour per day you are selling yourself short.
But you also run the risk of being misled and misinformed by people who I describe as spoofers; what I am referring to is people who have more knowledge about business or marketing than you do but who could not be genuinely described as expert in the sphere.
There is a qualitative difference between real experience acquired from building businesses over many years and somebody who is now positioning themselves as experts in some sphere of activity when there is no real substance to their claimed expertise, save for them knowing a bit more than you at this stage of your business development.
Don’t fall for it.
Some people have an innate level of cunning or street smarts or lack of naiveté; some people are inclined to naiveté and can be easily parted from their money with a bit of smooth-talking patter. Beware of this problem and if you are inclined to the second category take your time and do plenty of research first before acquiring the services of any supposed expert.
Work that matters
Do work that matters.
There is a qualitative difference between doing the work that matters, doing great work, acquiring clients, growing your business and things that don’t really matter but are inclined to stroke your ego-for example, shallow stuff like mentions, fans, likes, awards that may not amount to a hill of beans.
Don’t fall for this either.