Running your own business means that you need to wear many hats. On any given day you’re a manager, marketer, accounts and HR. However, the legal aspects of your business might be a little trickier, especially if you have no experience in the legal field. As you grow and scale your business, it becomes necessary to think about the long term financial and legal future of your business.
Having a good relationship with a legal professional is a smart business move from the moment you set up your business until the day you retire.
Deciding on a legal structure for your business is important, and can be costly if you get it wrong. A lawyer will be able to advise you, and any business partners, on the most effective way to set up your business. Not only should it be the most effective and efficient from a financial perspective but also from a legal perspective too. Clearly defined ownership and responsibilities can mean less trouble later on if you wish to sell or have a disagreement with a business partner.
Businesses run on contracts. In your day to day business you’ll be sending and signing a lot of contracts. These need to be legally sound so that your business is financially protected in case of contract disputes. Ambiguous contracts or contracts missing key clauses can cost you a lot of money if a client or supplier challenges them.
Before signing any significant contact with a supplier or partner, you should always have the terms looked over by a lawyer, who should then be able to point out any clauses that you need to challenge.
Your business can’t grow and thrive without talented people taking it forward. You should start your business succession planning as soon as possible. Identify the key roles within your company and the future leaders of your company.
Look for potential internal leaders that you can grow through a strong professional development plan. If non exist within your staff at present, then you need to go looking for them. Think about your own future replacement too, is there anyone you can imagine grooming to take over when you retire or take a step back?
Planning an exit strategy
What are your future plans for your business? Do you plan to grow the business to sell it or will you leave someone else to run it when you retire? Or will your business close when you stop working?
You might think it’s too soon to start planning your exit strategy, and perhaps it will change in the future, but it’s something you need to think of. How you plan to exit the business can affect how you run it today.
Having a strong partnership with a legal firm has great benefits for your business. Not only can they give you sound advice on the legal setup of your business but can also help you plan for the future and steer clear of potential contractual pitfalls.