Someone who is working on getting their first business off the ground has a lot to juggle. There’s paperwork to file, people to hire and a budget to oversee.

Because of the hectic nature of realizing a business, many owners do not realize the importance of proper intellectual property (IP) management until it’s too late. Here are some of the most common mistakes new businesses make with their IPs:

Forgoing research

One of the most important things a company has is its brand. It defines what customers think of when considering your business. The right message can help convey your value to potential customers as well as leaving a positive impression with those you work with.

All your marketing and planning goes to waste if you do not research your company basics first. Make sure you have created an original name and brand. Otherwise, finding out a different company has your branding may force you to start over. Ignoring research can be an expensive mistake for first-time entrepreneurs.

Not anticipating success

Some business owners are caught flat-footed when their company begins to grow. This leads to a scramble to keep up with demand. In the initial growth period of a company, many owners do not have a plan in place for protecting their intellectual property.

Without a plan for defending IP, a new company is vulnerable to IP theft and risks losing the momentum they have gained. They also risk spending money and time defending an encroachment on their business.

Taking a lax approach to defense

It’s understandable that things get overlooked when getting a business off the ground. Unfortunately, many owners find out too late that a lax approach to IP defense can be costly in both time and resources.

In the age of information, it’s easier than ever for unscrupulous businesses to find and steal product ideas or business strategies. Companies can quickly iterate an idea and encroach on a company’s established market. Time used defending an IP claim could have gone towards growing your company.

Creating a strong foundation

By emphasizing the defense of your company’s intellectual property from the onset of your company, you can head off a lot of problems.

A skilled attorney can help you create a plan that vigorously defends your current and future intellectual property. With a plan in place, you can focus on growing your business.