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The entrepreneurial activity that I have long had an interest in exploring is starting a company that specializes in manufacturing custom hiking equipment, more specifically hiking backpacks. Developing such a company would come with a variety of legal issues that would need to be addressed from both a business standpoint and a product standpoint. In this essay I will explore the various legal hurdles that will need to be addressed when creating my new business and product.
When starting any new business there is always concern with what kinds of government regulation might exist in your particular industry. With our business structure we do not see running into any extensive government regulations beyond the normal business establishment processes. For instance we plan on seeking on a local business license in the city of Chicago. This is required by every business to operate within a municipality. Additionally we will acquire a tax ID number from the federal government. This number is unique to every business and is basically required to properly file taxes. Finally we will establish the company as a limited liability company (LLC) in order to protect my personal assets from any potential creditors in the future.
When opening retail based business centered around a single product there a number of legal protections that you must seek in order to protect your company and product, but the most important is trademark protection. A trademark is a form of federal legal protection that applies to a company or product name, or a logo (Hinrish, Peters, 2014). For the company I am seeking to establish I will seek a trademark for my company name, my product name, as well as the logo that will be developed for my company. This legal protection will allow me to protect my brand and any names associated with it from being used by copycats. Since I will be offering a unique product that will be designed by my company I will also need to seek a patent on this design. A patent will protect my product from being duplicated by potential copycats for a period of 17 years (Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?). Patent protection for my company would be critical in ensuring that the company is not only able to establish our product is a fairly crowded backpack market, but it will also allow us to protect our product for a long time to ensure that it thrive in the marketplace. Due to that fact that there are so many variations of backpacks already on the market, our design will have to be very unique in design is order for the government to issue a patent for our design.
When developing any new product there is always a concern about the safety of the product, and with that any liabilities that might arise from creating such a product. Although we are developing a product that would be considered somewhat of an everyday item I do not feel there are many liabilities that will arise from the use of our product. since we are developing a backpack that will be meant for hiking specifically, and therefore will be used in many different potentially extreme environment it will important that we are very clear in both our marketing as well as on our product packaging about what the limitations of our product are. For instance when we design the product we intend to make it water waterproof, but by using such a term in our advertising and promotions we will need to be upfront with the consumer about the limitations on the pack so as to ensure that we are not held liable for future false advertising lawsuits.
When starting any new business there are a number of legal concerns that need to be confronted. For our business we will need to first establish our business in our city, and from there will be need to see trademark protections for our name and logo, as well as a patent for our product.
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