Launching a new product or business is an overwhelming experience, with entrepreneurship requiring that you become a jack of all trades. But when it comes to legal issues, taking the DIY approach is a big mistake, and it’s vital you don’t underestimate the wide range of legal issues young businesses face. Scaling might be the top priority for your startup, but what about the legal implications of rapid growth? Don’t leave these considerations until it’s too late.

Be sure to tick off this legal checklist before launching your startup.

Top 5 Legal Issues Startups Should be Aware of

The path to long-term success for every company is paved with legal consequences. Here are the key legal challenges startups face:

1). Business Structure
Your business structure will influence your liabilities and capacity to acquire funding. Make sure you have an agreement in place for outlining ownership, operational responsibilities, investment, and equity among company founders.

2). Intellectual Property Protections
Initiate appropriate patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Protect your intellectual property including inventions, logos, and software to prevent costly legal battles when other companies infringe on your IP.

3). Non-disclosure Agreements
Issue non-disclosure agreements to protect your business strategy, trade secrets, algorithms, client information, and more.

4). Employee Contracts
Issue employee contracts. These legally-binding documents are there to protect both your employees’ rights and your company’s.

5). Privacy Policies
The issuing and management of privacy policy protections is your responsibility as the founder. These protections safeguard user data in the event of a security breach or external attack.

Startup struggles are inevitable and running a startup is a real test of your patience, resilience, and courage. The journey won’t be easy but it will be worth it, rest assured. When Elon Musk was building his first company, he used to sleep on a couch and shower at the local YMCA. Hungerford, the founder of Nutmeg was turned down by 45 people when he started seeking out tech investors for funding for his company. They never gave up and you should also not.

Here are five harsh truths that no one will tell you regarding running your startup and the sooner you know, the better it is:

Not everyone’s advice is worth listening to

You won’t believe how many people will criticize your moves and will tell you that you are doing wrong. Almost everyone you come across will have a strategy. Even those who are working for someone else and have never had a business of their own will tell you that they can handle your startup better than you. While some of the advises might work in your benefit but most of them are meant to be ignored.

Not everyone is your customer

Defining your target market is as important as conducting a market research on your offering. The biggest mistake a startup can make is to believe that their product is a good fit for everyone. It will be very difficult for you to convince everyone that your offering is for them. It is better that you find those who may want or need your offering.

Your initial idea might not be the final idea

The most successful businesses today did not start off with the same idea that they are currently offering. The idea has to be molded numerous times. Do you know that Instagram started as Burbn, a check-in app that had a gaming element? It did not perform well. This led the founders to abandon all the features except photo sharing feature and then they relaunched it as Instagram. So, you need to accept that you will need to make major changes in your offering along the way.

Working hard does not mean you are working smart

We think that working 16 hours a day or staying up all night should be the surefire way of our success. It is critical, however, to realize that working smart is even more important. You need to find the perfect combination of working hard and working smart. If you will just grind away for the sake of grinding away then you are just burning out.

You might have to part ways with your best friend

There might come a time when you have to take a decision in the best interest of your business. You might have to fire your best friend you employed. It can be emotionally exhausting for you. You will also have to think beyond your personal conflict or disagreement with your partner. So, you will have to be emotionally intelligent in this regard.

Being an entrepreneur is surely tough but there will be numerous rewards that it will bring along. Once, you will become successful, you will realize that success never tasted so good!