As an entrepreneur you know you need something to protect yourself and your company, but what exactly is that something?
When I started my legal consulting business, the most common comment I received from clients was “I have no idea what I need!” I find that as a result of this uncertainty, many entrepreneurs avoid speaking with a lawyer because they think it’s going to cost them an arm and a leg and the lawyer may manipulate them into spending thousands of dollars on documents they don’t even understand. What clients often don’t realize is that avoiding certain documentation could cost them a lot more down the road; it could even cost them their business.
While many of us, when starting our businesses, invest in a coach (or coaches!), the fancy website and social media promotions, we often push the “legal stuff” to the side. So many times I have heard, “I will come back to work with you once I have a few clients so that I can pay.” And this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Why? You are about to enter into a very sacred relationship without legally securing it in writing.
What happens if a client stops paying? (Ah, that’s when we hire the lawyer!) What happens if the client demands a refund because he/she wasn’t happy with the services? What if the client steals your content? While these may seem like total Debbie-Downer situations, lawyers are trained to think of the worst-case scenarios in order to help protect you against it.
Invest in a lawyer now. Upfront. It’s kind of like insurance. We don’t anticipate we will get hit by a bus, but in case we do, we have our health insurance. Having legal contracts and support in place before something happens will ensure that you are protected should that client or some third party attack you.