Whose is that Intellectual Property?

Behind every successful business is the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is the one with the innovative idea, and the drive to push the idea forward to success.

Understandably, the entrepreneur is usually so involved in developing and managing the business that before they know it, the business is fully up and running and barrelling along nicely.

When a business is in its early stages, there can often be a reluctance to spend money unless absolutely necessary, and this sometimes means not taking advice from lawyers or accountants until too late.

The entrepreneur’s fantastic idea and the development work behind a new venture can hold some unique intellectual property (IP). IP can be extremely valuable and it is vital to protect it from a legal standpoint, especially if it is developed by a partnership or group. Each person developing the IP contributes their own skills and it must be agreed early on how the IP is owned and split between the parties, and similarly for the revenue arising from the IP.

As well as the legal ownership issues, there are tax and accounting considerations when working with IP. Structuring the business in the right way can ensure that best use of any tax reliefs or efficiencies can be made. Again, it is important to take advice early in the process to understand the options available and ensure the relevant structure or claims are put in place before it is too far down the line to change.

For example, many of our clients have made great use of the Research & Development tax credits made available by the government – an extremely generous corporation tax relief for companies engaged in R&D, from “traditional” R&D (laboratories etc.) to developing systems and software which are an advance in their industry. But many of those companies were not aware that R&D tax credits were applicable to their business until they discussed it with our experts.

If your business is developing any unique IP, don’t hesitate – get in touch with Barnes Roffe today to discuss your options and plan for the future.

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