Creating an invention or a business can be an exciting prospect, as it’s something many people dream of doing their entire lives. The actual process typically involves a great deal of work and commitment and if a new startup fails to protect its intellectual property, a business can be grounded before it even gets going. Here is what Georgia business owners need to know about intellectual property and how it may impact them.

Before intellectual property can be protected, the owner needs to determine exactly what it includes. It could be an invention, but also company branding, business processes and more. Some intellectual property may require a patent, but others will be classified as a trade secret. A trade secret is often a simpler option as it only requires that a company’s idea has value by remaining secret and that the business takes precautions to keep it that way. However, a patent may be necessary for inventions that could be easily duplicated.

Once those matters are determined, a business owner should take care to plan how to handle the intellectual property. This means that they need to specifically outline discussion of the IP in public and how much information may be given about it to third parties. This is where nondisclosure agreements may come into play, especially when it is time to hire employees or contractors for the company.

One of the best decisions a business owner can make is to work with a knowledgeable attorney on matters of intellectual property. An attorney here in Georgia who specializes in business law can help a company with many of the choices mentioned above and more. Protecting the best interests of a business is no small matter and needs to be handled with the utmost care.