Well, you may have started your business alone, but before it really picks up steam, there is one person you should be sure to have on board – an attorney.
Building a start-up is not simple. It involves many steps that could be overwhelming for someone without legal knowledge.
Whether you’re building a business alone or with partners, here is why you should hire legal counsel....
When you build a business, you must register it as a business entity. It could be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a joint venture, etc.
The type of business entity you register it as can have a huge impact on your operations and profits. If you choose the wrong business entity, the consequences could be disastrous for you and your company. For example, your company could be held responsible for the crimes of your employees.
A lawyer can advise you on what type of business entity you must register your business as.
Registering Your Business
It is important for your start-up to be recognized by the state. For this, you must register your start-up and get it licensed. When you finish the registration process, you obtain all necessary permits and licenses to run your start-up.
Being a registered and licensed business goes a long way in instilling trust in clients.
While registering your business can be done by yourself, having a legal professional with experience take care of it for you will ensure that no mistakes are made and you get all the licenses and permits without any hiccups.
You cannot run a business without making contracts. It could be for the employment of your staff, or for getting investments from someone, or for just about anything else, contracts are extremely important.
You can draft them yourself. But if you haven’t done it before, you are walking into a minefield.
You might make many blunders through the process, or you may just end up blowing up the company.
A contract’s legal validity can be seriously threatened if crucial details are overlooked. You may run into cheats and frauds who are desperately looking for things like this to exploit your new business.
Hiring a lawyer to take care of things like this is crucial to avoid court proceedings.
While you may not know it, there may be many things sitting around in your company that could invite litigation.
A lawyer can identify these and give you valuable suggestions on how you can mitigate risks so that you aren’t taken to court.
The lawyer can protect your start-up from unwanted risks by analyzing and identifying issues and offering advice on how to mitigate them.
Intellectual Property (IP)
You’ve obviously built your business with some unique selling points. Something that differentiates you from the rest.
Maybe it is some technological marvel, maybe it is a special service you offer, maybe it is something else, but how you can keep anyone else from copying it and using it against you?
You guessed it right - by enforcing your Intellectual Property Rights.
From the very start of your start-up’s life, the protection of intellectual property is very important. ‘
A lawyer will advise and help you safeguard it. Be it drafting proprietary rights agreements (PRA) or registering patents or advising you when to have non-disclosure agreements signed, the attorney can protect your company from serious IP theft.
You may have come up with a really unique and witty brand name. Protecting that brand name and brand identity is important.
A lawyer can help you register that name so that no one can use it other than you.
He/she may recommend that you register the brand as a wordmark or a logo based on your situation.
No one likes paying taxes. Nonetheless, everyone has to pay their dues.
An attorney can help you minimize the taxes paid by using all the provisions and exemptions provided in the tax code.
Investments and Capital
Capital to a start-up is like fuel to a car. It is what keeps the machinery going and the gears turning.
Unfortunately, though, acquiring capital has a lot of complications. There are many different channels you can acquire capital from and depending on your situation and after analyzing your business, your lawyer can advise you on the best channel to get capital from - it may be venture capital, crowd-funding, or seed funding.
More importantly, the lawyer will also help you in managing the board so that your share is not threatened and you as the founder have an important say in how your company functions.
Expanding To Another State
If your business is doing well and you want to expand to another state, you’ll need an attorney for sure.
Well, the other state has laws that may be different from yours and you must ensure compatibility before you can establish yourself there.
A lawyer can do the work for you and ensure your business follows the laws of both states so that you don’t face any hassles.
Maybe you have to fire an underperforming employee or terminate the contract of a contractor before it matures. Sometimes you may need a criminal defense attorney to sort out criminal charges in your start-up’s lifetime.
Some may go to court. Some may be handled outside of court.
Having a lawyer to take care of things before they boil over the brim can save you a lot of time, money and most importantly reputation and trust.
Bonus Tip: Websites and User Information.
When you expand and build a website, you must include a user agreement. These agreements govern the code of conduct, the disclaimers, warranties, return periods, etc. on the website and also disclaim liability for third-party links on your website.
Online or offline, privacy policies are very important.
Hire A lawyer, It's Better.
You have built an envious business empire. It is important to protect your brainchild with the best legal advice and support.
Hiring an attorney can help you significantly.
Whether it is drafting contracts, finding capital, or general issues, the lawyer can advise you on how to handle the problem so that there is no scope for any litigation.
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