We are living in an age where the business landscape and ecosystems have become dominated by start-ups. Young ideas, fresh entrepreneurial initiatives, innovative ideas, and complex problem solving are some attributes that you normally associate with start-ups.
Leading young corporate professionals driven by ambition and a desire to start something of their own are fuelling the ecosystem. While getting a start-up off the ground is exciting, it comes with its fair share of challenges.
Young entrepreneurs are mindful of issues like product development, digital marketing, raising finances, and so on. However, where they face challenges is navigating the complex maze of legal issues and compliances that they encounter unknowingly.
In this article, we are going to address a question that most start-up entrepreneurs ask themselves at some point or the other- should they hire business lawyers or law firms? If you are grappling with such issues, this article can help you clarify most of your doubts.
Can a Business Lawyer Help your Start-Up?
There are many resources on the net that say that start-ups need a business lawyer for incorporation. To be honest, this is something that you can do on your own. Yes, you read that right. Start-up entrepreneurs are already aware of what type of incorporation will work best.
The question then is, what areas can a business lawyer help you with?
- For starters, you need a business lawyer when your start-up begins to grow. Specifically, when you are hiring employees and building a team, you need to draft comprehensive employee work contracts and agreements. You want the best legal expert to get this done as you do not want to experience any unexpected legal issues or troubles later on.
- Secondly, when your business starts to grow, you look to work with clients and vendors. This requires the framing of agreements and contracts. There might also be odd instances where someone breaches a contract and you might have to take legal recourse. This is again an area that can quickly get out of hand if you do not have a law firm in Dubai in your corner.
- Thirdly, taxation and insurance are areas that no start-up entrepreneur wants to dedicate their time to. They would much rather focus their efforts and time on other areas of the business. However, as taxation and insurance are both strictly related to compliances, permits, and licenses, you do not want a half-baked approach at any time. This is another important area that requires expert legal intervention.
Start-ups work with innovative ideas that come within the ambit of intellectual property. There have been multiple incidents where enterprising start-ups have fallen prey to idea thefts. When you are working with business lawyers, they can guide you on copyright and IPR confidently.
What to look for when Hiring a Business Law Firm for your Start-Up?
According to leading experts, the following are some areas that start-ups and entrepreneurs need to look at when hiring business lawyers or a firm-
- On the same wavelength as your start-up-
Start-ups have a young, unique, and different culture. There is a different vibe when it comes to working in start-up organizations. Ideally, you want to work with a lawyer or firm that is a great fit for you. In other words, you want to feel comfortable and enjoy working with them. You also want someone that respects your way of working and functioning.
- Experience of working with start-ups in the past-
The legal needs and requirements of start-ups are very different from that of other traditional businesses. If the legal expert or firm has prior knowledge of working with start-ups, they will be already well-prepared in terms of the challenges that your business might face. More importantly, they will know what legal steps should be taken to protect your interests.
- Seniority of working in the legal field and business ecosystem-
A senior business lawyer or law firm will be able to help you out in multiple ways, apart from just legal issues. If you want to go for a meeting to raise funds from a VC firm, you would want the senior business lawyer to pull rank there. This will make the VC board members take you seriously and look beyond your sweatshirt and trainers. This works a lot of times.
The Bottom Line
Start-ups need to pay attention to legal issues. Running a business is more than just having a scalable idea in a dorm room. You are supposed to put on your big boy pants and deal with tons of legal documentation and paperwork. Not taking them seriously can land you in a host of trouble. If you have any more questions that you would like us to address, please let us know in the comments below.
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