We're starting up a new website. We already have the domain registered and we are going to begin development ASAP. We are going to hire someone to put together a logo for us as well as a front end design, but all backend development is being done by me.
What are the steps I need to take at this moment to protect the company. Things like trademarks, copyrights, everything. Is there anything special I need to do when I pay someone to do the design work for me so he/she doesn't steal anything?
I have never done anything like this before so I'm completely in the dark here...=/
Thanks ahead of time guys.
Best of luck on your new venture.
Your probably want to great an IP agreement for your contractors.
With any designer you want to make sure, in writing, that you own the full rights to what is created for you or your company. In the USA your work is automatically copyrighted. You can go further and apply for trademarks for your logos and name (if they are trademarkable), but it is not really necessary to start. Things like google and coca cola are trademarks, i wouldnt do that just yet.
If your application does something amazing that has never been done before you may want to consider trying to patent the technology.
None of this actually stops people from copying your work, concepts and even code.
All it does is give you a tool to file for damages (usually not worth the $$ of doing)
Dealing with Software contrators could be tricky specially if you are trying to 'offshore' it. It works well only if you a techie and know what you want and how you want. If you are outsourcing locally you may be better off if this is your first software startup. Definitely get the NDA and IP Agrements signed and also if it is possible to split your startup in components that can be coded separately then you can hire two separate developers/teams to work on them.