Speak to any entrepreneur and they will often have many reasons (some more or less valid) for not engaging legal advisers early on whether when starting a new business or launching a new product or service.
These often include seeing lawyers as the ‘no’ guys; an expensive and unnecessary waste of money who should be avoided for as long as absolutely necessary; who tell the entrepreneur NOT to do something, when in fact the entrepreneur wants to be told what they CAN do.
Some go on to build a successful brand or business without seeking legal or other professional advice from the beginning. However, for every tale of success, there are often several more tales of distress, including unforeseen issues with competitors, failure to get to grips with IP ownership, giving away too much equity too soon or giving up vital control rights, leaving the entrepreneur without control of their own business.
You also find, more worryingly, entrepreneurs who rely on the off-the-cuff advice from a friend who may or may not have studied law at University, but never went on to practice professionally, which can end up being more damaging than not taking advice at all!
What many entrepreneurs don’t realise is that the RIGHT lawyer is a business partner. Someone who is able to:
- Guide you through the initial stages of your start-up;
- Add value to your business by introducing you to useful contacts such as like-minded individuals and high net worth potential investors; and
- Create the correct foundation for your business from the very start.
The right start-up lawyer should be seen as less “lawyer”, more Sherpa for the route ahead, ensuring you spend your hard earned seed money in the right way.
Start-up specialist law firms have experience dealing with the issues entrepreneurs face and know and understand the time and money pressures involved. The right lawyer can assist an entrepreneur to make informed business choices and provide a sounding board from ideas. They know how to minimise costs and plan for the future ensuring the business becomes a lean, mean, startup machine.
They may also be the one to introduce you to your next business partner, or the long-awaited angel investor!