Starting a business may be thrilling, nerve-wracking, and challenging! Once you have gone through the motions of conducting market research, writing a lean business plan, finding funding, picking a location, and thinking up a catchy name you still need to decide upon and draw up the legal side of the business. In the early stages of a startup, it is a smart investment to find an appropriate legal representative so that you can focus on your vision.
If you are serious about your business and are putting money into your vision, then a startup lawyer is imperative. Traditionally lawyers are called upon to fix problems – but if you have legal solutions for your business, these problems are prevented from occurring in the first place. The legal team you choose should be able to answer specific startup questions, give corporate structuring advice as well as point out red flags. The lawyer or team you decide upon should also be able to assist with databases, connections, and networking facilities to grow your business together.
Registering your business is the first step to making it real. The real value of a lawyer at the inception stage isn’t really in preparing documents, but in helping you figure out what you need. Business licenses and permits may be required. Tax clearance is a requirement in some areas. Business dependent, there could be city, county, or state regulations as well. You may even need operating licenses. All these should be discussed in detail with your chosen legal advisor. For this reason, it is important to choose a lawyer for startup business who has a successful track record and experience in your specific industry and can provide the products you need, as well as offer you practical and affordable advice and guidance. Your lawyer should provide you with options of various packages and fees structures available to you. Experienced lawyers for startup businesses understand that budget restraints, in the beginning, are inevitable – so they should be able to structure your fees in an agreeable, comfortable way.
All your agreements should be drawn up by your lawyer: one-off deals, ongoing contracts, internal agreements including those with shareholders, and external agreements with regards to leases, services, and terms of engagement. They must also advise you on business insurance for your particular needs. As stated, it is important to find the right “fit” when choosing a lawyer: they must be client care focused with a working knowledge across a broad array of legal domains. They are often seen as business psychologists as they should be able to provide dynamic and proactive guidance.
Your chosen service provider should become part of your team whether they are full-time or contract basis. Their advice should be efficient and understandable. They must make you aware of when you are paying for their time and when you are not! Solutions need to be cost-effective. Other areas you could need assistance with include legal research, mediation facilitation, intellectual property registration, compliance guidance, or even reviewing existing agreements/documents.
Your startup will have the leading edge if you decide to make a lawyer an essential part of your business structure, to avoid difficulties, liabilities and costs at a later stage.