Hiring a decent small business lawyer can cost up to $1000 per hour.
Of course, prices vary (they can even go beyond that sum!). But even the cheapest attorneys bill around $150 per hour.
That's not cheap.
Indeed, it's easy to see why startups often opt to forgo the expense. After all, capital is often limited in the early stages of business. This can put pressure on entrepreneurs to keep sealed their purse strings.
However, this decision often comes back to bite a bootstrapped business. You should think twice before going it alone. Want to know exactly why your startup needs an attorney from the outset?
Keep reading to find out.
8 Reasons You Need a Business Lawyer
Business lawyers offer essential support in the beginning stages of any startup. Here are 8 specific reasons why.
1. To Get Business Advice
Any new business faces all manner of decisions to make and questions to answer.
But many entrepreneurs know very little about anything other than their specific area of interest. Yet they must decide the structure of their business, file all the forms, work out shares, and argue the owner agreements, and so on.
It can all get confusing very quickly. A lawyer will have the expertise necessary to offer advice and support throughout.
2. To Deal with Complex Processes
But lawyers offer far more than just advice.
They'll take the complex tasks away from you too. Anything you don't understand, they can do. Heck, even if you do understand it, they can do it.
Incorporation, tax returns, patenting, trademarking, and so on. Do you have the knowledge and inclination to do it all yourself?
Hiring a lawyer is by far the simpler option!
3. To Focus on Core Tasks
There's nothing more manic that the early stages of a startup.
You've had a great idea and have jumped wholeheartedly into the business. But somehow the jobs keep stacking up. There may only be you and a couple of others (if you're lucky) in the beginning. You don't yet have the luxury of delegating tasks to employees.
Instead, you're responsible for getting everything done.
You need every spare moment to focus on your core tasks. But it's easy to be distracted by the legal stuff- especially as it's so important.
Having a lawyer to do it all for you means you can get back to work on what you do best.
4. To Ensure You Go by the Book
We all make mistakes. The world of startups is full of them.
But, mistakes of the legal variety and ones you can't afford to make. It only takes a tick in the wrong box or a signature in the wrong section. But they can land you in prison or with hefty fines if you aren't careful!
There's no-one better than a business lawyer to keep you out of trouble. They'll be there to guide you every step of the way.
5. To Save Money Long Term
You undoubtedly save money in the short-term by deciding not to hire an attorney.
But what about the long term? Remember how easy it is to make a mistake? The implications can be serious from a financial, as well as a legal standpoint.
Think of the initial attorney expenses as an investment. Sure, you pay upfront, when you probably don't have a lot of spare cash. But this may save you far more in the long run. It only takes one wrong move to land you with a lawsuit, which can run up significant bills.
Save yourself the trouble by working with a lawyer from the start.
6. To Find Investors
A good lawyer will have connections.
This can be gold dust from a networking perspective. They can sing your praises and introduce you to wealthy potential investors. This is one way to make your money back instantaneously. Sure, you might spend a grand on your lawyer. But the investor they found for you could be worth 10 times that!
Research how well connected your lawyer is before hiring them. It will be in your interest if yours has fingers in lots of pies.
7. To Deal with a Lawsuit
The worst can happen even in the earliest stages of a startup: you get slapped with a lawsuit.
Maybe you stepped on someone's toes, infringed on someone's copyright, or messed up your GDPR responsibilities. Perhaps your partner isn't happy and wants out.
Whatever the case, having a lawyer there from the start will be major support. After all, it's a scary prospect- especially if it's your first one!
Furthermore, a lawsuit can land on your table at any time. You may be well established and get sued after some years. Being able to call upon a business lawyer who helped you get set up, and who already knows you and your business, is a serious boon.
8. To Achieve Peace of Mind
What does every item so far on this list provide you with?
You guessed it: peace of mind.
From initial advice to filing the forms, ensuring you go by the book, and getting you out of trouble, having a lawyer is a profound antidote to stress levels! This in itself can enable you to focus better on your business.
Sometimes this peace of mind is worth its weight in gold. After all, shouldn't this be fun?!
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: Eight reasons you need a business lawyer for your startup.
For money saving reasons it can be tempting to forgo the services of an attorney. After all, capital is often limited when starting a business. And good lawyers don't come cheap!
However, it's worth it.
Business lawyers will offer essential advice and do all the necessary legal legwork. This will enable you to keep focused on core tasks and ensure your startup does nothing wrong! In the long run, this can save you money. Furthermore, your lawyer's connections may facilitate investment.
Finally, you'll have an expert in place if ever a lawsuit comes your way. All of this adds up to a peace of mind that can ensure you enjoy what you're doing.
Sounds worthwhile, right?
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