There are criminal lawyers. There are personal injury lawyers. There are estate planning lawyers. There are entertainment lawyers. But what is a startup lawyer?
Think of a startup lawyer as a key partner to a brand new business. If you have chosen a startup attorney wisely, they will work to ensure that your startup business is in compliance with all of the appropriate legal requirements that are necessary to operate in your industry.
Startup lawyers can prevent legal problems from totally destroying your business in the future. That same startup lawyer with also be the talented and experienced individual that helps you before you face a potentially costly legal situation.
Make sure this lawyer is able to understand your business and its inherent needs. Let’s dig into exactly what is a startup lawyer and when you typically would need the services of one.
When a Startup Lawyer is Required
You know you are working with the right startup lawyer when they feel like an engaging advisor and not like a person you pay who is barely has a pulse or even a clue as to what is going on.
Here are some crucial steps o building your business that reliable startup lawyers can help you take care of:
- Understanding and being in compliance with tax laws and the tax consequences that can arise if certain decisions are made.
- The application process when acquiring trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other forms of intellectual property protection.
- Raising seed funding and venture capital.
- Figuring out how to structure your startup business the way you need to.
- Negotiating the ins and outs of a joint venture.
- Establishing employee agreements
- Creating partnership agreements
- Acquiring the commercial space for your business.
When a Startup Lawyer is Unnecessary
There are some other elements of establishing your startup business that would be much further down on your startup lawyer to-do list when it comes to what you would hire one for.
In fact, some of these steps may not require the cost of hiring a lawyer at all, unless you have special circumstances that are hard to maneuver on your own:
- Incorporating your business: A lawyer can help you figure out which business structure is best for you. But you can quickly file incorporation paperwork or start an LLC or nonprofit online on your own.
- Locating a legal form: There are plenty of legal websites for getting specific legal forms. Government websites may even have them for free. If you need help negotiating a contract or having legal provisions of a document explained to you, set an appointment up with your lawyer.
- Getting your hands on a business license: Your state or locality should have a website with the process for obtaining a business license if your industry even requires ones to begin with.
- Hiring employees to work with you: An HR professional or HR software should be enough when hiring your employees and setting them up on payroll. You really will only need an attorney in an employee situation if they are suing you.
- Obtaining an employer identification number (EIN): If you are planning to hire employees or you are a corporation of some sort, you’ll need an employer identification number (EIN). It’s a free and user-friendly process to get an EIN online.
- Getting a business loan: Your accountant can typically keep your informed about everything you have to know when closing in on a business loan.
Getting an appropriate lawyer for your startup business can literally be the deciding factor between watching your business thrive or crying while it caves in under legal pressures and a lack of proper preparation.