You’re ready to start your own business. You’ve come up with a brilliant idea, done your market research, and finalized your business plan. So now what? Welcome to the daunting task of setting up your own company. Or does it have to be?
Having set up a number of companies in the Czech Republic, I believe that a good commercial lawyer is the most valuable asset the small businessman can have. EOS. End of Story.
For non-native speakers, the first main obstacle is the language barrier. Involving a lawyer that speaks your own language means they take you step by step through the process, crossing all the i’s and dotting all the t’s. Speaking of barriers, I recommend you engage a lawyer that speaks your business language too. Someone who understands what it is that you want to achieve.
There is no doubt that engaging a good lawyer will help you immensely in the start-up phase in general. What can a lawyer can help you with? There is, for example, the question of visa and residence requirements, the type of business organisation that works for you, partners and partners agreements, founding documentation, premises lease or purchase, trade licences, intellectual property, employees, yours and their social and health insurance, contractors, health and safety, environmental regulations and by the most dreaded of all – tax. Your lawyer can make recommendations that can not only ensure your business will have a firm foundation, but also get it up and running without unnecessary hiccups. There is also the undisputed benefit that by going through the process of incorporation with a good lawyer, you gain a firm understanding of how the process of incorporation actually works and why what is needed. A small business owner needs to understand every part of the business from sales to marketing, finance to purchasing. Incorporating the company should be no exception.
What about later? By keeping a lawyer engaged when the company is up and running, you are more likely to avoid unnecessary expenditures, be it simply by having good contract templates and general terms and conditions, knowing what the rules are for distance contracts, knowing the deadly sins to avoid in contracting in your field where your templates are not an option, or by having mastered the ins and outs of successful debt collection.
As I said earlier, a lawyer is a real asset here. For all those that see lawyers as a necessary evil when one is in trouble I assure you it does not have to be the case. If you wait until trouble comes your way, it is often at a stage where it becomes very expensive compared to co-operating upfront. Lawyers are a wise investment in protecting you, helping you avoid those troubles that can cripple you down the line, and setting you up for success. I don’t about you, but I prefer to avoid “unnecessary expense” territory and make investments wisely. So doesn’t building a relationship with your lawyer from the ground up make sense?