Business law can be very complicated and very confusing. For entrepreneurs without a legal background, that can lead to challenges that could restrict growth. Most start-up owners prioritize getting their product to launch and that all-important marketing, but you need to be aware of legal requirements as well. While you could hire a legal expert on a consultation basis, there is also a lot of value to bringing an experienced legal professional into your team. Here are some of the most important areas that they can help with, and how to find the best people for the role. Ignore the legalities and your start-up could fail before you’ve made your first sale.
Incorporating your Start-Up
If you want to protect your personal finances then you’re going to need to make a clear distinction between yourself and your business. A start-up lawyer can make sure that you incorporate your business from day one, and that means that you are not personally responsible for any debts or liabilities. Start considering your start-up as its own entity that owns its intellectual property, pays employees, and enters into contracts. Your in-house legal expert will be able to help you decide between:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
In the early days, your lawyer can also help with business structuring, creating a business plan, and identifying the goals of your start-up.
Hiring the Right Team
The majority of start-ups are going to need to build up a team. Having a lawyer in the office can make this much easier. Never start interviewing for employees without making sure that you have the right legal frameworks in place first. You need to make sure that your insurance is in place, and that you have done your due diligence in terms of ensuring that team members have the right to work in your country. A lawyer will ensure that you have everything right, and can even keep any privacy requirements insight as you do background checks on potential team members.
You’re going to need to protect the reputation of your brand, as well as the innovations that are the foundation of your start-up. If you need to patent an idea, make sure that your lawyer has an understanding or experience with IP law and the importance of filing dates. Look at the adverts for the latest legal jobs to get a clearer idea of the skills and experiences that are most being sought after. Follow the lead of those adverts and make changes to suit your start-up. When you need to protect your brand’s identity and reputation while ensuring that you have the right level of audience reach, an in-house legal expert can help you cut through the red tape while ensuring that you get the forward momentum that you need.
Managing costs as a start-up owner can be very difficult, especially with a bootstrapping strategy. If you have the financial resources, hiring an in-house lawyer can be a very worthwhile expense that can keep future costs down while minimizing exposure to legal risks. Take your time finding the right lawyer and your start-up will be much more secure.