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Quick Tips to Build a Strong Legal Foundation for Your Brand

Starting a new brand could lead down a rocky road if the legal basics aren’t covered.

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Starting a new brand could lead down a rocky road if the legal basics aren’t covered. An article from RangeMe lays out the groundwork needed for a smooth ride to success.

First and foremost is protecting yourself and your workforce with insurance.

Liability insurance protects your business from claims of injury or damage to property, as well as claims that an error was made while providing services. 

Commercial property insurance focuses on where your business operates, whether you rent or buy. It can protect against fires or burglaries, and sometimes covers your equipment.

Workers’ compensation insurance covers your employees. If they get injured or sick from their job, this insurance can step in to pay their medical bills and ongoing care, and replace lost wages. Most states require this type of insurance. 

Business income insurance can help you pay rent, utility bills, and payroll costs if your business must close due to property damage.

The unique qualities that make your brand great can also be protected. 

Trademarks let you protect your brand's unique name, phrase, design, or combination of traits, to carve it out as your own. Patents dig a bit deeper, protecting technical details like chemical compositions or unique machinery.

Copyrights cover the more creative side of things, focusing on art, literature, or similar types of works. Copyrights allow you to exclusively perform, distribute, or reproduce your work.

If there is potential to cause harm, you can bet there will be regulators to check your work. 

The FDA is a great example of this in the food and beverage world. Your brand will also be held accountable for safe working conditions, with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Marketing and advertising has its own guidelines to watch, often based around truthfulness and regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.

And lastly, if you plan on importing or exporting goods, there are several regulations to follow. Importing might require a license or permit depending on the item. Check with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to be sure, and follow its guidelines for a smooth process. Exporting can sometimes involve tariffs and other rules surrounding the receiving country. CBP can also provide guidance for exports.

For more information to help seamlessly launch your CPG brand, check out the Legal Side of Packaging video series.

Casey Flanagan, PMMI Media Group Editorial Assistant

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