Why is it never too early to get a lawyer? You might be asking yourself that very question now. Say, for instance, you are currently a team of just one or two people with a great idea, a business plan and lots of energy. It may seem far-fetched that you’d need a lawyer at that stage; but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only do you need help protecting your idea, but the right legal counsel will help you propel your ideas into reality.
The sooner you engage an attorney, the less likely you are to trip up on the legal obstacles that could hinder or delay the success of your business venture. Whether you are a one-person show or a team of twenty, you will need someone to help you get to the right business structure, create and review documents, set up your relationships with your team members and protect your ideas. Not only do you need these documents drafted, you also need them drafted well and by a qualified attorney who has practical experience doing this. (And please, don’t just grab something off the internet. We’ve seen terrible results from that.)
Without such guidance, you are liable to make irrevocable or hard-to-unwind mistakes that could be costly down the line. Setting up the wrong type of entity, not getting your IP straightened out or issuing the wrong types of shares may even one day cost you your franchise. There are many risks startup founders have to take, but this shouldn’t be one of them.
Having a strong business plan and a strategically organized startup will help you get the funding you need, whether it is from crowdfunding, government grants, accelerators, incubators or hedge funds. It is never too early to get a lawyer, because the right legal counsel will help you achieve your goals from day one.
At HJF Law, we help startups and early stage companies launch their ideas into reality.