Entrepreneurs are adept at wearing many hats in their business, which can be a competitive advantage. However, this strength can become a weakness when you wait too long to bring in specialized assistance, which is certainly true when considering hiring a lawyer. But when is the right time? Here is a checklist to think through when deciding if it’s time for you to lawyer up:
- You are starting a new business and are considering forming a corporation or LLC.
- You have potentially lucrative products or services that you need to protect via patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other means.
- You have employees or independent contractors.
- You are bringing on an officer or independent contractor who will receive equity or a portion of the sale of the business.
- Operating your business implicates regulatory issues in such spaces as consumer product, technology, and privacy.
- You are signing agreements that have long-term financial and legal implications for your business.
- You are beginning to sit with investors, having informal or formal discussions.
- These are just a sample of the instances in which it is wise to seek counsel. Which one most applies to your business?