So you want to start your company. You’ve spent large sums of money on top of months or possibly years of your time preparing for this step, and you’re all set. You’ve covered everything. You know all about Murphy’s Law — everything that can go wrong, will go wrong — and you’re ready to overcome it.
Wait, what’s that? You haven’t hired a lawyer?
There are many people who try to start new companies without hiring a lawyer, and there are equally as many horror stories about why that is a terrible idea. So if you’re asking can I start my company without a lawyer, sure you can. You can use online legal services such as LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer, which allow you to incorporate without hiring a lawyer. Heck, you can even do it yourself through the Secretary of State website.
But that doesn’t mean you should. Starting your own business is a complicated proposition, and a qualified lawyer who understands those complexities can save you from wastes of time, money, energy, and many, many headaches. You didn’t work so hard preparing your startup for it to fail because of legal snags, did you?
The fact is, do-it-yourself incorporation methods offered by online legal services usually will not adequately protect you. There are countless instances of businesses needing expensive legal help farther down the line because they filled out their downloadable documents incorrectly, and this is but one example of the many ways in which starting a company without hiring a lawyer at the start can hurt you big time in the long run. Issues that can be prevented by hiring a lawyer can turn into huge, costly problems if you don’t contract proper legal representation. In fact, it can even turn into the demise of your entire business.
Another major problem with the do-it-yourself approach is that the documents used by sites like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer are generic documents that are not customized to the needs of each individual business (i.e. yours). This results in startup owners not knowing what the best approach is for their specific legal situations, which in most cases are the certainly not “generic.”
Simply stated, non-lawyers cannot take the place of lawyers; there’s a reason that it’s illegal to practice law without authorization. Some of these do-it-yourself online legal services have found a loophole in the unauthorized practice of law regulations, but that doesn’t make it a good idea to tread the complex waters of business law without hiring a lawyer. What happens, many times, is that clients pay for these do-it-yourself services and receive documents that aren’t even suited for their businesses — they end up paying even more down the line because of the legal problems this creates!
What it comes down to is this: legal services are extremely specific because the needs of each and every startup are extremely specific as well. Do-it-yourself — a.k.a. “One Size Fits All” — is not an acceptable alternative. One document does not come close to covering all your legal bases.
Don’t let Murphy’s Law come back to haunt you. Get it right from the start and hire a lawyer — someone who’s qualified and has expertise in your line of business. Someone who can represent and protect you. Someone who can help your business be what you want it to be, without any legal mess.
Visit us at LawKick.com to learn more about how we can help your business grow by helping you find a lawyer that’s right for you.