First of all, While I have made every effort to provide accurate information as a startup and small business coach, this article is not meant to serve as your legal advice but to guide you through the basic legal tips every startup business need. Therefore, I will not be liable to you if you rely on this information solely for your support.
Setting up a business is exciting and with all the “can’t wait to be independent and my own boss” feelings, without the right legal advice it can also be a disaster awaiting to explode.
You’re a small business owner and not a legal expert. Nevertheless, an entrepreneur certainly need to be abreast with most aspects of his or her business. Because, as you start and grow your business, you will need very important directives regarding many legal issues, tax regulations, property laws, (including rent regulations), intellectual and copy rights, taxes, corporate liability etc.
It is essential that, when laying every brick for the foundation of your business, you must lay the foundations very strong so it can survive against future challenges. It is also important to get Legal advice or a lawyer to guide you through the special business needs.
The truth is; some or let me dare to say most startup entrepreneurs, do not even consult a legal adviser or a business attorney before setting up their businesses or building their ideas into businesses.
Startups fear the word “legal” and as much as possible avoids it.
But do startups need legal advices or services?
Does it play any significant benefits for their inception?
Let’s understand what “legal” means
In every country, there are regulatory bodies which governs it’s business environment. In Ghana for instance, we have the companies Act 1963 which regulates corporate bodies or businesses.
So, even before your business is recognized as a legal business in Ghana, it has to be legally registered under the laws of the country.
Without a certificate of incorporation and a certificate to commence business issued by the regulatory body; The Registrar’s General Department, your business is considered illegal and has no legal backing to exist or operate. Be it an enterprise, sole proprietorship, limited liability etc.
How do you know, which form of business to operate and which type of the company’s Act regulates it? How do you determine which structure best suits your startup business? How do you know the legal needs of your business?
You need a legal adviser. It is should be the first step to take as a startup Entrepreneur before setting up your business. Two (2) out of ten (10) startups would seek for legal advice before launching out their ideas and registering them into businesses.
You should always do things the legal way so that you don’t have to deal with legal minefields in the future. Do not be too excited about starting a business and forgetting the most important foundations it needs to be built on.
Legal cost or legal phobia?
“legal costs.” Legal costs include not only attorneys’ fees for a lawyer’s work, but also registration fees. Registration fees are non-negotiable. These fees are set by a regulatory body and do not include a lawyer’s billable time.
Many times, some of these bills scares away the startups and makes them avoid doing things the right way. The question of legal fees is often a frightening one for these startups. Legal costs may often come as a shock.
Is it the question of the cost or merely a phobia of not wanting to be involved with the “law” legal bodies?
Most often, it’s the fear of the legal fees (cost) rather than phobia of legal issues.
Regardless what it may be for many startup entrepreneurs, it crucial to seek a legal adviser or seek the services of a lawyer to avoid tumbling in the future.