Depending on the type of business you are starting, legal costs can vary widely. For small-scale service businesses, your legal costs are likely to be minimal. However, if you’re raising investment, taking on a lease, developing an innovative product, or employing staff you’d be foolhardy to scrimp on legal protection.
Crafting an effective legal strategy for your business will be a critical foundation for long-term success. Here are our top tips:
1) Allot more budget for legal expenses than you think you need
Many new business owners find themselves surprised upon finding out how high legal expenses can be. In fact, legal fees can account for a huge portion of your upfront investment. Other than being expensive, you need to be prepared to go back and forth, which means delaying the process and increasing legal spending even more.
It helps to create a buffer in your budget to make sure you have the means to enlist legal services when you need them.
2) Use legal document templates to cut expenses
Legal services can cost you a great deal of money, but you should understand that hiring a lawyer isn’t your only option. Legal document providers can help your start-up prepare the necessary paperwork. You can use a library service of legal forms and document templates, making it easy to access accurate and up-to-date documents without the assistance of a solicitor. If you often find your business in need of non-disclosure agreements, employment contracts, and shareholder agreements, these templates can reduce legal expenses significantly.
3) Find the right specialist
Before you hire a lawyer, remember that specialisation matters. It is vital that you hire the right type of legal professional for each task. Otherwise, you risk working with someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the specific field. If you need a patent, then a patent attorney should be what you’re looking for. Similarly find specialists for employment, property and contracts.
A general practice lawyer might cover different areas of the law, but in most cases, you’re better off choosing someone who has extensive knowledge about the field you’re dealing with. You can find specialists in your area who are listed with the Law Society here.
4) Make sure you are not breaking the law
It’s not uncommon to hear stories of big companies getting slapped with hefty penalties for breaking the law. But the consequences of breaking the law extend beyond monetary implications. Your brand reputation also gets tarnished in the eyes of customers, potentially ruining your business for good. As you gear up to compete with other businesses, make sure you avoid cutting corners and ensure that you operate within legal bounds.
The business landscape moves faster than ever, but you should take the basic steps toward building a solid legal foundation for your start-up. And remember that some things may be legal, yet they’re not necessarily right. As you operate your business, stay true to your company values and offer the best experience to all the parties you work with.