7 Tips to Stay Above Board in Business

7 Tips to Stay Above Board in Business

Felix Yim 19/07/2022
7 Tips to Stay Above Board in Business

It's more important than ever to stay above board in business.

Social media and "cancel culture" mean one wrong move could be the end.

Here are some tips for staying on the legal side.


1. Register with the Relevant Boards

If you have operated a business for any length of time, you know how important it is to register with authorities. As a sole trader, there are minimal requirements for this. However, as a legal entity, you must register with multiple boards depending on what you do. For instance, suppose you want to begin buying and selling stocks to secure extra funds for your company. In that case, you need a Legal Entity Identifier. Services like LEI Register offer expert advice and will do the work to get your unique ISO standard ID, so you stay transparent when trading.

2. Stay Above Board in Business with Legal Counsel

A legal team can be expensive, but the value they bring to the table is priceless. You can consider an in-house team of MVP lawyers, outsource or keep an external counsel on retainer. All of these are great options. They're excellent ways of keeping legal counsel because using any method ensures you have access to legal advice and action on demand. Additionally, a retained legal team, whether in-house or not, will get to know your business intimately. Because of this, they can act swiftly should any issues arise from a legal standpoint.

3. Keep Personal, and Business Expenses Separate

You've heard that you shouldn't mix business and pleasure. But you also shouldn't mix your personal and business funds. Doing so will make you liable for any misappropriation and can be a tax nightmare. The easiest way to do this is to open a separate bank account for your business income that doesn't interact at all with your personal account. If you don't do this, your personal assets, such as your house and car, could be at risk if the taxman conducts an audit or there's corporate action against you. Forming a limited company will also help avoid issues.          

4. Pay Attention to Copyright

One of the hottest issues today is copyright. Copyright is one of those things that seems black and white but actually wades far into the grey areas. As such, a copyright case can last for years and cost hundreds of thousands. Here are some things you should copyright:

  • Your company logo (do this immediately).

  • Instruction manuals or internal procedure documents.

  • Your business website layout and design.

  • Images, video and audio produced by your company.

  • Blog post content.

Under the laws of most countries, anything made by your company is automatically copyrighted. However, you can help yourself further by manually registering intellectual property with the governing copyright office of your nation. This then proves your work in case of legal action.

5. Understand Corporate Organization

When you start a company, there are numerous types you can register as. They have different names in different countries, but they're often known as a sole trader, a partnership, a limited company and a corporation. Depending on your business type and how you operate, you need to choose one of these. Each class is governed by a specific set of laws and regulations, and whatever types you register as determines your liability in legal action against you. You can also protect yourself from personal legal action if you choose the appropriate organization type.

6. Outsource Tax Accounts to Stay Above Board in Business

Outsourcing is a vital tool in business. When you outsource, you can save money on overheads, office space and equipment. This is because the company to which you outsource already has these critical aspects in place. You simply pay them for their time and expertise. One of the most valuable services to outsource is accounting. An accountant can keep track of income, expenditure and, more importantly, the tax your company owes. Which is a godsend when you have a business to run and never enough time to do it. The fee is small, but the help is massive.

7. Cultivate a Respectable Company Culture

The last few years have highlighted just how much some companies weren't paying attention. The actions of disgraced CEOs, politicians and high-profile celebrities mean you can't afford to ignore the importance of developing a reputable company culture. Beginning at the very top, your business needs to be beyond reproach simply by keeping an eye on things. Therefore, you need to ensure a sterling company culture from an internal and public perception. You can instil a set of values, donate proceeds and enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment.


Your company and personal reputation depend on whether you stay above board in business. Make sure to register appropriately, manage copyright and create a good company culture.

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Felix Yim

Tech Expert

Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects. 


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