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For a business idea to be legal, you must follow the proper steps

Before you launch a new business, it is critical to make sure that your business idea itself is actually legal. If you're worried about it, there is reason to be cautious. Do not get ahead of yourself and start spending money, only to find out the idea is illegal when you are about to open your doors. The government could shut you down and it may cost you an incredible amount -- even if you do not face legal charges.

It is also important to note that your idea itself may be completely legal, but you still have to follow the proper steps to make sure you carry out that idea legally.

For instance, perhaps you wrote a software program. Since you can license digital products to numerous customers without added costs and overhead, you want to sell it all over the world. You think you can earn a lot because you only need one product to sell repeatedly, and you already have it.

That's not illegal, but you may need an export license if you are selling internationally. Licenses, contracts and sales are also often overseen by the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the Department of Commerce. You must follow all proper rules and regulations, and you need to know exactly what these are before you start making sales.

Every case is different, but this shows you why it is so important to do extensive business planning in advance. You must know the law and your rights. Success is not just defined by a great idea, but by executing it properly.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Is My Idea Legal?," Judith A. Silver, accessed June 07, 2018

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