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Creating, launching, and running your small business is a time-consuming task. While you’ve already jumped through multiple hoops and navigated all sorts of issues, you must also take steps to protect your new startup from a variety of outside factors. If you’re a small business owner, you have to view your new company as a baby. Not only is it your job to nurture it and sustain it, but it’s also your job to protect it. But what exactly are you protecting your new company from, and how do you go about securing it?

Protect Your Ideas

According to FBI reports, the US economy loses over $250 million every year due to intellectual property theft. That’s a quarter of a billion dollars that is lost because small business owners fail to protect the ideas behind their startups. Creating a paper trail that protects your intellectual property includes more than filing for patents when necessary. It’s also crucial that you get non-disclosure and non-competition agreements signed by any team members who are going to have access to the ideas that you’re hoping to turn into a fortune.

Protect Your Credit

Monitoring your business’ credit will help you protect the financial future of your company. In these times of economic uncertainty, your business must have a good credit score. Every time you apply for credit, pay a bill, or add a new tradeline, your business’ credit profile grows. It’s vital that you know everything going on with your company’s credit report so you can address problems that may come up before they turn into something larger.

Protect Your Company from Other Companies

No matter what industry you’re going into with your new business, you’re going to have to interact with other companies. Whether it’s about procuring materials or obtaining funding, you’re going to be getting something from other businesses. You must do your homework on these other companies. Not only do you need to avoid dealing with unscrupulous businesses because you could lose money, but you also don’t’ want to become associated with businesses that have a bad reputation. You must research any company that you’re going to be working with to make sure your business benefits from the deal.