Growth November 3, 2016 Last updated November 3rd, 2016 1,737 Reads share

6 Useful Legal Tips for Startups and Small Businesses

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The current state of economy in the world is, one can say, faster than it was ever before. Since there are a lot of cloud solutions currently on the market, many barriers that were restrictive in the past are now surpassed and entrepreneurs have all the tools and capital available to go full speed ahead in their business endeavors. The current market and the economy offer a climate in which businesses need to move fast on all fronts, and if not, somebody else will step in and take their place.

Still, even with the current business conditions, there are certain obstacles that remain standing, and these obstacle must be tackled by each and every business owner who plans on succeeding. Since the start of a business organization, its business strategy must be able to meet all of the legal requirements of the industry. No matter how much a business strategy is crafty and well designed, a company won’t be able to execute it to its fullest, if its operations are outside of their legal bounds.

The essence of your company’s well-being depends on how much you dedicate yourself to its legal aspect, how much you invest in it and how much time you spend on thinking about the legal aspects in the early stage of your business organization. Here are my 6 useful legal tips that can help you craft a bulletproof legal strategy that will secure the well-being of your business organization.

#1. Set aside more money for your legal budget

You should never, and I mean never, underestimate how big your legal expenses will be. When starting up a brand new business, legal fees can easily turn into large upfront investments, and this is something you must consider. Almost all entrepreneurs that started up a business agree that these fees they had to pay always ended up much higher than they expected, because of all the legal complexity, constantly going back and forth, and other legal factors.

This is why I encourage all startup owners to give themselves enough buffer in their budgeting estimates and to be prepared for these kinds of services. You should also make sure to consult with your legal representative and ask him or her to estimate all of the legal fees at once.

Besides these expenses, you will also have to pay for bonds, license filing fees, license fees and a lot of other small legal fees that may seem small but, when you sum them all up, they don’t seem harmless any more. You should make sure to try and contact some entrepreneurs and ask them to help you by examining similar legal challenges they’ve had, in order to create a better estimate of all your future expenses. Ultimately, it is important to create a realistic budget, so that you aren’t forced to spend money that was planned for investing in other business aspects.

#2. Expect a lot of your time to be taken away

When you come up with your business idea and find a market gap that needs to be filed, you need to start working on it right away. You never know if somebody else might see the same gap and fill it in themselves. However, lining up your legal ducks can take a lot of time, and this is why you must plan ahead.

For example, when starting a lender business, getting a lender license may last more than one year. During that time, you will have to modify your work strategy so that you can operate within your current legal bounderies, in order to avoid losing a lot of money, while waiting for your license. Get informed and find out what license you need to obtain to start operating, while taking into account the time you will need to acquire the license.

#3. Hire the right attorneys for each of your different legal tasks

It is highly important to find specialized attorneys for separate legal issues. Hiring an attorney to handle a task in a specific field he or she is not specialized in can cost you dearly. For example, if you are looking to obtain a certain patent, you will have to hire a patent attorney. A specialist has many years of experience in a certain legal field, a greater knowledge of all the outs and ins, as well as connections that will help your cause a lot.

Hiring a general practice attorney that can cover a wide range of areas, but has no specialized knowledge in any of them, may save you some money in the beginning. However, when this legal representative’s lack of experience, expertise and knowledge in a certain field starts showing, you will have to cover for more costs in the long term. Getting the right person to do your legal jobs is a worthwhile investment. If you don’t, you will soon be spending much more and you’ll even risk bigger consequences that may harm your business operations.

#4. Ensure that you are operating safely and not breaking any laws

There are many consequences your business organization can suffer if your legal affairs are not in order. There are many examples of businesses being fined for a large amount of money because their operations were not legally backed. Besides the fact that you will be forced to pay heavy fines, your business will suffer a lot more by being banned, losing customers, losing brand reputation or even being forced to close entirely.

The constant need to expand over the current market and into new markets, while having to keep up with all of your competitors can be quite pressuring, but under no circumstanecs should you cut corners and risk ruining your brand reputation or putting your business in danger. Since the very start, you should work with a trusted attorney to help you ensure that all of your business affairs are in line with the laws and regulations.

#5. Finish all of your legal processes while starting up your business

If a certain part of your business model requires compliance or a license, perform business operations that are legal until your obtain all the tools to fully operate. It is true that obtaining all of the legal permissions to run your business safely is essential for starting a successful business organization, but still, this doesn’t mean that you should sit around doing nothing until you are legally enabled to operate to your fullest potential.

Make sure that you use all of your time wisely, by building and investing in all of the areas you are legally able to invest. For example, if you are planning on launching a business that covers multiple countries, you can start operating in markets where there are no legal regulations holding you back, while at the same time, you will be waiting to get proper licenses for those states that still require them. Furthermore, you can totally get out of a certain market, until you are legally and fully able to do what you intended.

Always be prepared go all in, once you are legally able to. If you hire a professional, capable and specialized attorney, he or she probably has access to some of the best legal software, which allows them to organize all of your case files, help schedule court dates, and assist in preparing your documents. Having an attorney for these kind of tools will save you a lot of time in the beginning and help you focus on other business aspects, while taking care of your legal licenses.

#6. Draft all of your procedures and policies for maximum protection

It is now a common thing for employers to provide all of their employees with IT equipment, internet access and emails. On the other hand, a lot of companies forget to draft their policies on all of their systems which can and should be used. To protect your business, make sure that your policies restrict any type of abuse. You should make it clear to your employees that you and your company will keep an eye on how they use your systems and that they are there to make their work easier, not for fun. Furthermore, make it clear that all the systems are company’s asset, and that they can’t take away nor abuse them for their personal affairs.

Business development and circumstances are quite fast by their nature. By following these simple steps, you can go a long way in terms of setting up or expanding your business organization wisely and quickly. It is important to remember that, if something is legal, it doesn’t automatically mean it is right.

With each and every decision you make in business, you should make sure that you are not simply just following the law, but you should know that you will be abiding by intent. Your whole business organization should be built around your values and you should make steps towards operating with positive intent. You should always keep this in mind, no matter what type of legal parameters your business organization comes in contact with.

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