Master your admin

TRC 008: The most boring topic for a blog post ever?! Admin!

management organisation Apr 20, 2023

Read time: 5 minutes

‘But it’s so boring!….’

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that about paperwork or admin.

When starting a new business, it's easy to get swept up in the excitement of bringing your ideas to life.

However, amidst all of the product building and creativity, It can be very easy to leave these things aside, promising yourself that you will get to them later.

That’s always a mistake.

Here are 10 areas you need to make sure you are on top of from the start:

  1. Business structure: Choosing the right legal structure for your startup is crucial as it impacts taxation, personal liability, and management structure.
  2. Founders' agreement: A comprehensive founders' agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of each founder, equity distribution and vesting schedules, decision-making processes, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  3. Shareholder agreements: These agreements detail the rights and obligations of shareholders, including ownership structure, voting rights, dividend distribution, and procedures for transferring shares.
  4. Intellectual property protection: Safeguarding your startup's intellectual property (IP) is essential for maintaining a competitive edge. Typical areas to watch for are, making sure that domain names are not owned by individual founders, but by the company, and that tech contractors all sign agreements assigning their work the to the company.
  5. Business registration and licensing: Register your business with the relevant authorities and obtain necessary licenses and permits to operate legally. This can be registration with Companies House or relevant state authorities if you are in the US.
  6. Tax and accounting setup: Register for corporation, employee and, if necessary, sales taxes with the relevant tax authorities. Set up an accounting system to manage financial records and ensure tax compliance.
  7. Insurance coverage: Buy suitable insurance coverage to protect your startup and yourself from potential liabilities. This will probably include public and employee liability, professional indemnity/liability, directors and officers and contents insurance (if you have an office).
  8. Employment agreements: Well-drafted employment agreements define roles, responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and terms of employment for team members. They are also useful to have as founders so that your roles are clear.
  9. Sales agreements/contracts: Make sure that you have contract that covers the terms and conditions of sale - whether you are selling products vai eCommerce to consumers, or software to large enterprises.
  10. Data privacy and security: Implement measures to protect customer and employee data and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations. You will need this if you are storing any kind of consumer data and regularly communicating with customers.

You will never regret getting these things organised up-front, but I see plenty of founders regret not having got them.

When things go don’t go to plan, it is very helpful to have an agreement, contract or document that will help you understand what to do.

It’s not the most glamorous thing you will do as a founder, but it is one of the most important.


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