Business & Commercial Law
Virginia Small Business Law
Even as the owner of a corporation or a limited liability company, you’re responsible for making sure your small business complies with Virginia’s business laws and regulations. You have a duty to your business’s longevity and your employee’s welfare in the work environment.
For business owners in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach or Richmond, it’s important to understand state and federal laws and know how to proceed when a legal issue develops. LawInfo has the Virginia small business law information you need from protecting intellectual property to responding to malpractice claims.
Virginia Business Plans
Your small business idea may sound like the next best thing in its market, but how confident will you and your potential investors be when it finally goes to market? You can make sure that you’ve addressed most concerns about the startup process and your business’s longevity by creating a business plan.
A business plan helps you think critically about what it’s going to take to start your small business and how it matches up to competition. It should serve as a roadmap for your business and a proof of concept for investors and other finance sources. You will need to do research on the market, your potential customers and your competitors and create financial projections that account for the various startup and maintenance costs.
The more work you put into your business plan, the more prepared you’ll be to meet your goals and overcome obstacles.
First Steps to Starting a Small Business in Virginia
You have a product or service that you can build a small business around. How do you start your business? There is no one right way to create a new startup, but there are a few very important steps you’ll want to consider taking first:
- Make a business plan.
- Choose a legal structure for your business.
- Choose and register your business name.
- Find a location that suits your business’s needs and get information on the required safety and zoning codes.
- Seek financing if you’re unable to self-finance your business.
- Register for federal, state and local taxes, licenses and permits.
- Register your new and original business products, services or inventions as intellectual property using trademarks, servicemarks, copyrights or patents.
The Virginia state government provides useful information about local and state resources for new small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Association also has a resource guide for small businesses in Virginia.
Protecting Intellectual Property in Virginia
If your business produces a unique, original or new type of product, service or invention, you’ll want to protect the use and distribution rights of your intellectual property from competitors. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers business owners ways to register and protect intellectual property in the U.S. market.
You can register for three types of intellectual property protections. Each one protects certain types of products, services or ideas:
- Copyright—This protects published or unpublished creative works such as film, music, books, magazines, art, etc.
- Trademark/Servicemark—These protect the identifiers used to sell products (trademarks) or services (servicemarks), including symbols, names, words (e.g. catchphrases or mottos), or other means.
- Patent—This protects new and original inventions, including newly bred varieties of plants, improvements to existing processes and patterns or designs to clothing and apparel.