PUT IT IN WRITING
Many small business owners jump into verbal agreement with most everyone that is involved in their businesses. That includes suppliers, loans received from friends and relatives, potential partners and strategic alliances.
By not having a written agreement the risks can be enormous, not only from a litigation point of view which can be expensive and time consuming, but also from broken relationships, both internal and external. Many potentially great businesses have closed their doors due to some form of misunderstanding.
To succeed in a small business you must make an investment of both time and money. For most, time is the biggest investment and the invested money, regardless of the amount, must be well spent in order to maximize its value.
Yes, you need a legal entity for your business but there are so many other things that must be protected such as patents and intellectual property.
The selection process for your attorney also takes a little work. The following are considerations:
- Are they willing to educate you?
- Are they familiar with your industry (do they have other clients in your industry?)
- Are they good communicators?
- Is their billing flexible?
- Is their location convenient for you?
- And my most important consideration, do you feel good about this attorney?
Depending upon the scope of your business, the size of the firm may be important. A sole practitioner may be knowledgeable in one area of law; a large firm may have the resources to help in a lot of different situations.
Use your story and vision to present yourself to an attorney. Many attorneys may see a lot of potential in a long term growth relationship and help set up a fee structure that will work for you.
I tell my clients that an attorney, along with a CPA and a consultant form the external foundation upon which a business can grow and become profitable and sustainable.
“Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” Albert Einstein
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