The short answer is that a startup should invest in a lawyer when the business would benefit from a legal professional’s expertise. Of course, what that actually looks like in real life will vary based on different needs for different businesses.
Here are a few of the most common areas to look at.
Intellectual Property– This particular legal area seems to be a bit gray for a lot of startups. Mostly, the decision centers on finances, but you should take a look beyond just the price of getting solid legal help. If your business centers on intellectual property or if you are dealing with an especially unique aspect of intellectual property, then you should definitely discuss your situation with an attorney. It’s not worth the risk to leave your business totally unprotected.
Business Formation-Admittedly, business formation itself is not incredibly complex. However, it may not be totally clear which type of formation you should go with. Sometimes, startups can be incredibly short-sighted, but if you want the best formation for operation as well as taxation, then it may be beneficial to discuss your options with a lawyer.
Contracts-You’ll quickly learn that startups usually have a lot of written agreements. Whether you have employment agreements or contracts with investors—you probably want to make sure they are legally solid. Some people have a knack for crafting contracts, but it never hurts to at least have a lawyer review it. Language matters and leaving out certain terms or conditions could potentially bite you later.
Of course, there are other areas that a lawyer could be beneficial. Anytime you get in a situation that you aren’t exactly sure what you should do—it doesn’t hurt to get a bit of help. Lawyers can help you mitigate risk and could potentially add value to your company as well.
Affordability is always at the forefront of the mind of an entrepreneur. Atwe understand that. We’ve been there! We formed our company with the idea that legal services should be less expensive and more attainable. We’ve crafted a system where people have access to smart legal services without the overhead—making it much easier and affordable for businesses to get the help that they need. Take a look at our website and get in touch for a consultation.