What On Earth Is Intellectual Property

When I was last doing a workshop for people who had come to learn about how to set up a website because they were starting their own home based business, I was chatting about working with developers to create a website, someone asked me what is IP and what do they do about it.

Let's quickly look at Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Basically an IPR lets people own the work they create. It could be the result from the creation of an idea, a brand, an invention, a design, a song or any intellectual creation, such as a website development or its design.

Intellectual Property can be owned, bought and sold, so ensure you own the rights to yours or you may come unstuck if you want to move to another development company down the line.

There are some horror stories of how home based business entrepreneurs spent thousands only to find they don’t own the site they paid for and cannot move it somewhere else. How to find out more about intellectual property for your home based business

So do be aware of this risk and ask the question about who owns what up front.

My advice here is to get a free half hour or hour’s consultation from a legal firm on IPR telling them what you intend to do with your site. Then, if this could be an issue, decide if you need to pay for further legal advice.

You should check who holds the IPR of the bespoke site that will be built for you. You should own it as you will be paying for it, but it isn’t as easy and clear as that.

That is why I suggest you get a contract or speak to a legal advisor on this hot and touchy subject.

If you pay for the logo, content and images, you own them.

When it comes to the technical coding of your newly built website development, you need to define exactly which files and code you own. Just because you have paid for a website, it doesn’t mean all of the features are now yours.

Sometimes the developer will use bits of software they’ve created to bolt onto your CMS system.

FOR EXAMPLE: they will use a standard editor for you to change your pages. This will not be owned by you and the same goes for other similar items. Get a list in writing from the developer of what you will own and not own, before they begin work.

Find out more about starting up a home business website and in particular, get legal, marketing and general advice for starting up a new home business.