When growth and funding are top priorities, it is wise to not let legal soundness fall to the wayside. Not surprisingly, 1 in 10 startups fails due to overlooked legal issues. Without a lawyer looking out for your best interests, it’s easy to miss common legal mishaps that pose a threat to any startup.
Mistake #1: Many startups rely on legal templates easily downloadable online to “cover their bases” and save money. What seems like a wise choice from an economic perspective can lead to significant liability if you don’t know what you are doing. Tax forms and incorporation documents might be free to download, but most entrepreneurs don’t have the legal know-how to be sure the forms are being utilized properly. Minor errors or oversights in those free legal templates can spell disaster down the road in the form of lawsuits or worse.
Also, many of these templates and forms are not specific enough to be used in all the different types of businesses that entrepreneurs start. If you then layer on the state law requirements, the result is that the template document is completely ineffective. You would not provide your customer with a product that was ineffective, so why would you treat yourself that way?
Solution: Enlist the expertise of an expert, like a Creative Business Lawyer®, to act as your trusted legal counsel. Adding this expert to your startup team will do so much more than simply handling legal documents such as terms of agreements, employee contracts, owner and vendor contracts. For brand new startups, it might seem overwhelming to invest in the cost of ongoing legal counsel, but the cost is nothing compared to the cost of losing your business altogether due to simple legal mistakes. Indeed, if you have to go to court to sort out a problem, it will likely cost you at least 30 times what it would have cost to correctly set things up at the beginning.
Startups need legal protections from the many risks all businesses face. When your focus is on growth and development, be sure to put developing an ongoing relationship with a trusted legal advisor at the top of the priority list. Online templates are no substitute for personalized legal counsel from a trusted business lawyer who will anticipate issues before they become problems and provide tailored guidance as your startup grows.
If you want to protect your business interests, limit your liabilities, and ensure your business is poised for growth, start by sitting down with us, as your Creative Business Lawyer®. We are experienced in helping new and established entrepreneurs achieve success through careful financial and legal planning. As your Creative Business Lawyer®, we can establish a sound legal, insurance, financial, and tax system for your business so you can focus on increasing revenue and enjoy the benefits of entrepreneurship.
This article is a service of A. J. Yolofsky, Creative Business Lawyer®. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. If you would like to learn more about why LIFT is so important, please look at this FREE GUIDE. Call us today to schedule.