Disclaimer: This article is for informational use only. Nothing stated in this article should be regarded as legal advice. You should always consult an attorney for legal advice.
As creative people most fashion designers are not well versed (nor they should) in the legal aspects of starting and running a business. Never the less a design business that is responsible for producing products from scratch. When done wrong, things such as protecting your business identity, dealing with vendors and contractors, paying your taxes etc. can end up costing your business money and quite a lot of headache and time when facing these issues later on.
To help you with this, here are 4 things to consider before your start your fashion business:
- Legal Structure - Before starting your business, you must decide on a legal structure for your business. Many considerations should factor into your decision, such as your current and future goals for your business, ease of maintaining and operating the business, potential income, and taxes. It is important to remember that not every structure is suitable for every business. The business structure you choose will have lasting legal and tax implications. There are several structures available for your business and each has its pros and cons. The most common types of business structures are: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, C Corporation, S Corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
- Registering your “DBA” - If you decide to operate your business as a Sole Proprietor or a Partnership, you may need to register your “Doing Business As” or “DBA” name with your county clerk’s office or with your state government.
Also, for those of you with existing corporations or LLCs, if you want to do business under a name other than your existing corporation or LLC name, you may need to register a DBA.
- Licenses and Permits - In addition to registering your business with the proper governmental entities, you may also need to apply for and obtain licenses and/or permits. Every state has different requirements and you must comply with those of your state. There are federal, state, and trade licenses and permits. It is important that you comply with all the necessary requirements in order to run your business legally.
- Protecting Your Business Identity - As a start-up or small business entity, the identity of your business is your business’s biggest asset. As such, it is highly advisable that you protect your business identity (name, logo, slogan, etc…) from its inception. By utilizing intellectual property law, such as trademark and copyright laws, your business identity will be protected and you will be able to focus on growing your business.
About the firm and the author:
Ankhi-Krol Law is a boutique law firm located in the heart of Midtown, New York City. The firm takes pride in working with all types of businesses in the areas of business law, contract law, trademark law, and copyright law.
Shahrina Ankhi-Krol started Ankhi-Krol Law with the goal of providing legal representation to small business owners after noticing that small business owners are often uninformed or ill-informed of the law. As a result, they either attempt to solve their legal problems on their own or do nothing at all. Both courses of action are dangerous as “un-doing” a legal mistake – either through misfeasance or nonfeasance – costs more money and time than would have been spent if the business owners obtained legal counsel from the start. Ms. Ankhi-Krol not only provides legal representation, but also provides business counseling to her clients in order to identify and address small problems before they become big problems.