While it may not seem that hard to start an online business, there are many things that can go wrong, from people profiting from your business name to losing the perfect URL if you don’t lock them down.
If you are launching an online business it is important to take steps to protect your name, your brand, and your online presence. Starting small can be good, and while you may think you can tackle these issues later, nothing is more important than taking strides to protect your business early on.
Here are 4 tips that will help you protect your online business.
1. Registering and Affirming Your Business Name
The first step to take when starting an online business is to make sure your business name is only yours. One mistake that can be made is starting a business that is named after one that is currently in use. This can lead to problems for you down the line. Naming your business or using well-known names in your business name may seem like a great way to give you a solid start, it can actually detrimentally affect you and open you up to legal proceedings.
Imagine starting your business and building that name for yourself, only to be forced to change it once you have grown; it is counterproductive and you will need to start again. Rebranding can be a good thing, but only when it is your choice and not something that hits you out of the blue.
2. Ensuring Legal Documents are on your Site
3. Ensuring Domain Ownership
Make sure that you check business name registries, and ensure that yours is unique. Once you have solidified your choice, it is important to register your business name and buy the URL rights to ensure no one can jump on your coattails and possibly benefit from your success.
There can be many variations to your name, and it is important to register all domain names that can be affiliated with your business so that no one else can take those names or web pages from you. Once your business is named, the most important aspect is protecting those names, so ensure you have covered all your bases when it comes to registering and/or purchasing all the domains for your business.
4. Choosing a Secure and Trusted Hosting Service
When you are setting up your online business, and especially when you will be collecting and keeping customer information, it is important to choose a trusted hosting service. If you are not protecting your customer information, then you are not protecting your business, and this can open you up to massive losses or reputation issues should your customers’ information be leaked to outside sources.
Your customers trust you, and word of mouth and reviews can help build your business, so taking steps to protect your customers is another way to protect your brand and their reputation.
While these are just a few of the steps to take to protect your online business, they are incredibly important.
As you begin to operate and build a larger client base, you will find more legal issues coming up, such as incorporating your business and any number of other concerns. To start on the right foot it is important to always keep your legal knowledge honed, update your site privacy and policies, and ensure that you are taking all necessary steps. If your online business and brand are legally protected, that will allow you to focus on the day-to-day running of the company, enhancing profit and growth, and building your business into the best it can possibly be. Don’t ignore the legal stuff until it is too late, follow these steps to protect your brand and watch your business grow!