Why You Absolutely Need Legal Assistance as an App Startup

By  Zainab Agha

December 30, 2021 3:32 pm EST

The future of your mobile app startup depends on how you decide to structure and stabilize your business when you are setting its foundation. One of the important aspects of starting your own app business is making sure you have checked all legal considerations. 

Check out all the reasons you need legal assistance for, before your launch your mobile app into the market. 

What is Your Business Structure Like?

You want to make sure that you decide whether you want to run your startup as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or as an LLC. 

By incorporating your business and limiting liability you can reap tons of advantages. For example, in case things go south in the future, your personal assets are always protected. It also gives you further legal protections and rights in case you get into a dispute with a customer. A lawyer can help you register. 

Co-Founders Agreement

If you have decided that you want to start your company with another individual, who may have helped you come up with the idea for the application, or you want to help you grow your app startup, you need to put it into writing.

All founders start their journey in a relationship based on trust and reliance, but professional relationships can hit a sour note, especially when faced with the unprecedented ups and downs of a business. 

A co-founders agreement financially protects all the founders of the app startup. It details how much of the business each partner owns and how equity if distributed. There are NDA clauses that keep a founder from taking all the information from a startup and starting another business in competition. Once signed a copy must be sent to every party that is involved. 

Get IP Rights

Your Intellectual Property rights are a protection that you must look into once you enter the app industry. Before you even start building the app or introduce it into the market someone else may come up with the same idea, or worse steal yours and develop a similar product. 

Intellectual property rights keep people from copying you and profiting from the product. Employees cannot walk away with your ideas and start their own business. More importantly, the protection of IP rights keeps you from being accused of copyright infringement. 

Draft Contracts

You need contracts for your employees, freelancers, and contractors. Each contract should detail what they shall be responsible for, how you plan to pay them, and how much you agree to pay. It must also have an NDA attached to it so that the professionals cannot take confidential information to rival businesses. 

With a contract, startups can take legal action as well. Without them it is hard to seek justice.  

Legal Disclaimers

Legal disclaimers help you communicate with your customer what the product is responsible for and what it is not. If you thought lawsuits could never be that silly, you would be surprised on the things people sue over. Make sure you display the disclaimer not just on the app but on your website and other landing pages as well.

Compliance with Jurisdiction

If you are launching the app outside your country, you have to research and comply with their laws and regulations. You may not be growing your services that far out initially but an app destined to scale will have to some time. It is important that you get legal advisory on changes you need to make to the app and what you need to add. Laws keep changing all the time. A competent lawyer will stay on top of them and alert you to make updates to your mobile app. 

Lease Agreement

As an app startup if you have a space that is dedicated to designing and developing the app you are supposed to engage with a commercial lease. An attorney can always review the terms set by the landlord and advise on whether they are fair and in accordance with current market trends. They may also add any rights that you have as the tenant and other things that the landlord must provide. With their insight and expertise, you can negotiate a much better deal. 

It is clear that mobile app startups can benefit immensely with a legal advisor holding their hand through the process. Most often startups are victims of lawsuits and disputes which can easily be smoothed over if there is proper documentation and if the business has covered all its legal bases before beginning operations.

Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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