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Business Tips – Being your own boss – Part 4

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As much as we would like to think that the world is a great place, the reality is that it isn’t. People will steal your ideas and your dreams and pass them off as their own.

You need to protect your ideas and yourself from the charlatans out there.

It is not really necessary to register your business name or get copyright protections for your logo or your ‘by line’ because there are laws in place that protect you. Basically what that means is that whoever used a name or a slogan first is then the owner of that name or slogan. The problem with this though is that if someone else then uses what you consider to be yours, the only way then to stop them using it again is to take legal action and go to court to enforce the law.

One of the ways to ‘prove’ that it was your idea or theme or that it was used by your first is to document everything. Use a daily planner or your diary to make notes and keep track of who you met and what was discussed. This will provide you with a ‘paper trail’ which could be used as evidence should you ever need to go to court.

Although many will tell you to continue your business as a ‘sole proprietor’ for as long as possible before you register as a (Pty) Ltd, be aware of the fact that this has tax implications both to you as an individual and also for your business. Make sure that you understand the “why’s” and “wherefore’s” of registering your business before taking the plunge. That said of course, it is one of the ways that you can protect the name of your company from others as certainly, here in South Africa, CIPC will not allow another company to register the same name of a business as you have. So that of course is another way to protect the name of your company.

Whatever you do out there, remember why you’re doing it and don’t forget to have fun!