Starting a small business is an exciting experience. However, it can also be overwhelming. There are so many things to oversee that you might not have even considered, and managing everything on your own can be difficult. With this in mind, seeking out a business lawyer is a good idea for any startup company. After all, it takes hard work, patience, and ambition to start a company, so having help in the legal world of contracts and paperwork can take a massive load off of your shoulders.
You might feel confident when embarking on this voyage and setting aside money for a legal advisor might feel excessive this early on in the game. So why would your startup need a business lawyer? Here are some benefits for you to consider:
Preventing tensions from building in the future. Establishing roles and responsibilities with business partners early on through a partnership agreement can help prevent disagreements in the way the company is run.
Getting through all the red tape. Starting a company can be overwhelming since there are so many formalities to check off. A lawyer can assist you with all the paperwork, making sure you and your team are licensed and ready to start.
Getting a board set up. Though not all companies have boards, they come with many advantages and a lawyer can help you set up a governing business structure that works best for your company.
Writing up the terms of service. There’s a lot of tedium involved in properly running a new business, including legally establishing rules and restrictions involved in your relationship with customers. A lawyer can take your ideas for terms of service and create a workable legal document without you having to lift a finger in research.
Investing in your company’s future. Making sure you have legal counsel from the get-go will pay off in the long run. A lawyer can ascertain that your company is on solid ground before you even start, as well as helping you with legal issues along the way as your business grows.
Though there are many benefits to acquiring legal assistance early on, it is a cost to consider. With a limited budget, it may seem worth it to not consider a startup lawyer, especially if you feel like you can do everything on your own if you just put in the time and effort to research. However, this can be a life-changing mistake, costing you big further down the line. Let’s elaborate on and discuss these benefits and see if investing in a business lawyer for your startup is right for you and your company.
Legal Assistance Is a Worthy Investment
Creating a startup can be expensive and working with a tight budget can mean sacrifices for any business owner. Getting legal help should not be one of those sacrifices. Paying for legal services from a lawyer may feel like a privilege for later when there’s more money in the budget to spare, but preventative measures and competent legal assistance are key if you want to avoid spending a lot of money on legal disputes or lawsuits down the road. Consider finding legal help early on for two major reasons:
Legal advice comes in many forms. Getting a quick consultation or meeting with an experienced lawyer is probably more affordable than you think. Although you may choose to hold off on hiring a lawyer full time for your startup, it’s still a good idea to check in with a legal expert periodically and to help with legal problems that you shouldn’t handle on your own.
It will cost your business more not to meet with a lawyer. Getting legal help is not just a formality; it’s an investment. Taking the time and money to make sure your startup is properly established and structured can mean the difference between a successful company and your startup crashing and burning. Getting a good lawyer who can draw up competent documents and paperwork is imperative in making sure your company will make it in the long haul. They can also help you solve problems before they come up. It’s better to spend some money on a lawyer to draw up clear and competent legal documents than to spend a lot of money on a lawyer to represent you in a lawsuit.
In the end, you’ll probably lose more money by not hiring a lawyer than you would by getting legal assistance early on.
Starting a Solid Partnership
Although there are many things you can take care of by yourself when it comes to starting a company, there are some things better left to a legal professional. In fact, though this may come as a surprise, it doesn’t always take long for some startups to encounter legal problems. A couple of early struggles a startup might run into due to a shaky legal foundation include:
Tensions between partners due to unclear roles and responsibilities.
Startups require a lot of documentation to be filed before you can start with much else.
Important documents like licenses and articles of organization are crucial in starting a business.
Many startups face challenges early on because of tensions between founding partners. Having a shaky foundation will create problems for startups right away. Business lawyers can prevent struggles like these, since they can help you and your partner's draft foundational documents, like articles of incorporation. A lawyer can be a great help in establishing each party’s rights and responsibilities on your startup team:
Who is an employee? Who is a founder? What role is each individual filling? What are their responsibilities? A lawyer makes sure these questions are answered and clearly defined so no surprise disagreements pop up later.
Lawyers can also help with figuring out fundraising and tax status which seem minor but are important to figure out early on.
Figuring out all the legal details at the beginning can save you a lot of trouble in the long run, especially with your fellow founders. Beginning with this solid foundation will make it easier for you and your team to start your company.
Another benefit of having business lawyers around is that they can also assist with your appropriate licensure. Depending on your city, state, and profession, there might be a medley of licenses and permits to get filled out before you can even think of opening up a business. If you’re starting a company in architecture, health, or accounting, then you may need to get licensed. A good business attorney will be a great help in facilitating this process and making sure everyone on your team has the licenses needed to get started with their responsibilities.
Establishing a Board
There is a lot of work involved in starting a company. Being the founder of a business doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always be in charge of every decision. Though startups tend to avoid establishing a board complete with bylaws and a solid governing structure, lawyers can make sure you take all the necessary steps required to make the most of your company. They can help with drafting bylaws and creating the structure of the board.
Naturally, your company may evolve and grow over time, which means your company’s board structure will need to evolve with it. However, starting a company with a board, especially if you can get experienced businesspeople at the table, can be a huge help to the early days of a startup. They can provide advice and connections for your business and a lawyer will make certain that the creation of a board runs smoothly.
Writing the Terms of Service
As exciting as putting your product or service into the world is, it also comes with tedium and hefty legal responsibilities. Sooner rather than later you’ll run into the trouble of writing terms of service. Although you can be sure your customers probably won’t read them, being as boring and detailed as they are, someone has to write them out and establish legally binding terms of service.
The best person to do this is a business lawyer who understands the ins and outs of laying out terms of service. Meeting with your lawyer about what restrictions and expectations should be defined in the terms will help them get a general idea of what to include and save you the trouble of having to deal with legalese. After all, an experienced lawyer will be acquainted with the format and what’s expected from the standards of terms of service.
Creating a company is a difficult process, especially if you’re attempting to do it alone. Building a strong relationship with a lawyer early in your company’s development can be a real advantage down the road.They can help you every step of the way. Of all the issues you might encounter while founding a business, legal challenges should not be one of the things you have to worry about. Learn to trust your lawyers, let them in on the internal workings of your business and your goals, and they will help pave the way.
Moreover, legal issues are unavoidable if you don’t seek out legal counsel. It’s better to find a good lawyer before you need one than struggle to find one when you’re in legal trouble. Lawsuits, partner disputes, taxation concerns, and more are all preventable by getting a lawyer ahead of time. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.