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When you start a business, there is a lot to handle and it makes sense to hire a lawyer. But many business people don't do that, thinking they will leave the little details for later, once the big stuff is set up.
That is not a good idea, according to David Rose, who is a successful serial investor and the author of The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business. In a review of Rose's book in Fortune, it is noted that this entrepreneur considers hiring a lawyer an important initial step in starting a business. Let's look at what he says.
Why Hire a Lawyer
It is very common for business people, especially those with limited experience, to underestimate the value of legal counsel. Preoccupied with ideas about launching, the startup founder who fails to consult with an attorney will miss important steps that should not be skipped, says Rose. Little things can become big problems if you don't have a lawyer to review what you are doing and ensure you are headed in the right direction
Noting that many company founders think they don't need a lawyer at all, David Rose writes, "More often than not, I've seen startups skimp on legal expenses in the early days only to learn a hard lesson ... The peace of mind that comes from knowing that a good lawyer has your back is extraordinarily liberating. Believe me."
According to Rose, you need a lawyer for your new business, and not just for one or two things -- he reportedly lists 33 specific reasons. You should probably listen to him because he has founded or funded over 100 companies and his advice is not abstract. It's practical.
Rose even lets his readers know how to go about leaving a law firm when the relationship is no longer working and what belongs to the client who goes. "Remember, your files and any work product are yours," he writes. "A law firm can charge you for copying, but cannot refuse to give them back even if you are behind on the bill."
Consult With Counsel
If you are starting a business or are already in deep, talk to a lawyer. Get guidance. Take care of the details and get peace of mind, just as David Rose advises.
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