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I'm about to start a business, do I really need to hire a lawyer?

I'm about to start a business, do I really need to hire a lawyer?

This is a common question for many entrepreneurs. With all the other startup costs, hiring a lawyer can be pushed to the backburner.

We asked 8 successful business leaders to share their thoughts on the matter.

It Enables the Entrepreneur

A smart entrepreneur and businessman/woman recognizes the need for a lawyer when starting a business because the lawyer enables the entrepreneur to do what they do best; focus only on aspects of creating the business and not learning the requirements, documents, and the legal processes. Moreover, a lawyer provides assurances the business or start-up is being 'done right', even providing "value-added" services such as trademarking, reviewing lease documents and identifying potential roadblocks/opportunities

Robert Rutila, Blythe Grace Partner

Stay on the Right Track

Yes, especially if your business could be vulnerable to liability, such as a medical practice. As you are probably extremely knowledgeable in whatever field you are opening your business in, lawyers are knowledgeable about the requirements you must meet to run that business. While there are various aspects that you may be able to handle without one, a lawyer will ensure that you are on the right track and that everything goes smoothly--and legally.

It Depends

It ultimately depends on the type of business you are starting. If you’re starting a business that is just you, you are probably not going to need a lawyer right away. If you’re starting a corporation, however, you definitely need a lawyer. Take a good look at your business and the rules surrounding the type of business you’re starting. Then, decide if you understand all those rules or if you need an expert’s help to figure them out.

Do Things Right the First Time

Here's the thing to remember: No one needs a contract when everything is going great. A good lawyer earns his or her pay when things go bad. They've often seen things sour at other businesses and know how to protect you should you hit a bump. Doing that up front solves lots of problems on the back end.

Rick DeBruhl, Communication Consultant

Put Yourself in an Investor’s Shoes

I think it’s best to think of it from the investor’s perspective. If you were investing in a startup, would you rather have a lawyer or no? In my mind, having a lawyer is not only about protecting your business and its assets, but also about providing a sense of security and legitimacy for potential investors.

Understand the Risks

Would you jump in the ocean without a life vest on? Understanding the legal aspects of owning a business is crucial to being successful. Paying lawyer fees initially could save tons of potential liability costs in the long run.

Deborah Bubis, Recruiter & Sourcer

Get Serious

You could start and grow your business without a lawyer just like you could take a road trip without wearing a seatbelt. There are adequate low-cost options to mitigate some risk at the beginning but I recommend acquiring legal counsel as soon as possible if you are really serious about growing your business.

Find the Best Resources for You

No, you can just start and grow your business without a lawyer. There are plenty of free or low-cost sites where you can get legal assistance. It is also a good idea to seek out networking groups where you may have access to those in the legal field.