Why Every Digital Entrepreneur Should Have a Lawyer on Their Team
Updated: May 30
As a digital entrepreneur, you've already taken the first steps toward success by starting your own business. But do you have a lawyer on your team? In this blog post, we dive into why every digital entrepreneur should have a lawyer on their team to benefit from sound and informed decisions instead of just hoping for the best.
What is a digital entrepreneur?
A digital entrepreneur uses the internet and other digital tools to create, market, and sell their products or services. It can include freelancers, bloggers, social media influencers, web designers, content creators, app developers, and marketers. Most digital entrepreneurs operate in the e-commerce market.
A. Benefits to having a Lawyer
Having a lawyer is essential for any digital entrepreneur. This is especially true when it comes to navigating the complex legal and regulatory landscape that exists in the digital world. Here are some of the main advantages:
1. Drafting Terms of Service and Privacy Policies
Before selling online, you must ensure that you have the proper legal documents. A lawyer can help you draft Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, and other legally binding documents to ensure your business complies with applicable laws.
2. Business formation
If you are starting a new business, having a lawyer on your team can help you with the paperwork for incorporation or setting up an LLC. They can also guide you in selecting the best business structure for your company. Jurisdiction selection, taxation, and other legal matters related to business formation can be complex, and an experienced lawyer can help you make the right choices.
3. Compliance with regulations
A lawyer familiar with local, state, and federal laws can ensure that you adhere to all the regulations that apply to your business. This can avoid any potential legal issues and costly litigation in the future.
A lawyer can assist you in negotiating contracts and other agreements with vendors, partners, investors, and customers. They can provide sound legal advice to ensure that the terms are fair for both parties involved.
5. Tax advice
An experienced lawyer can provide sound tax advice and help you navigate the complexities of filing taxes, including deductions and other important information.
6. Asset protection
A lawyer can help to protect your assets from potential liabilities by setting up trusts and LLCs or other legal entities that will shield your finances from your business ones.
7. Investment advice
A lawyer can provide sound legal advice regarding investing in your business or raising capital from investors. Securities laws, financing terms, and other legal matters related to investments can be complicated, so getting the right advice from an experienced professional is essential.
Should any disputes arise between you and a customer, vendor, or partner, a lawyer on your team will provide you with the necessary support to resolve the issue. They can advise you on handling the situation and represent you in court if needed.
9. General Counsel services
In addition to the above, a lawyer can also provide general counsel services such as advice on business decisions, negotiations, and reviews of contracts. A legal advisor always available in the wings can be an absolute comfort to an entrepreneur.
B. Challenges of not having a Lawyer
Businesses need access to legal counsel to avoid a variety of challenges. Whether providing strategic guidance on ways to reduce risk or dealing with legal issues as they arise, a good lawyer can offer invaluable insight that can help businesses make informed decisions quickly to maintain compliance and avoid costly mistakes.
1. Operating Without Knowledge of Relevant Regulations
The consequences of operating without the knowledge of relevant regulations can be severe. Fines, penalties, and possible legal action are all potential risks of not being aware of regulations that must be followed in a given situation. For instance, if a business owner is found to be in violation of government regulations, they could face hefty fines and have their business operations suspended until the issue is resolved. This could lead to financial losses, damage to the company's reputation, and even criminal charges. As a result, individuals and companies need to stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations so that they do not find themselves in hot water for failing to comply with them.
2. Making Uninformed Decisions
Making uninformed decisions as an entrepreneur can lead to potential risks and losses that could have been avoided. Poor decisions can make a dent in any business, causing long-term damage or even complete failure. The responsibility of making the right decisions usually rests with the owner or manager of a company. Knowing and understanding all aspects of running a business is essential before making any financial commitments or launching products or services. With this knowledge and experience, entrepreneurs may understand the implications of their choices and avoid facing serious consequences.
The problem is that many inexperienced entrepreneurs rush into making decisions without doing the necessary research. For example, they may start their business operations without drafting the required agreements, or they choose partners that lack the necessary experience to carry out their tasks successfully. This often leads to additional costs, delays in progress, and an overall lack of success for the new venture or project. An experienced business lawyer can be an entrepreneur's valuable and trusted resource during those times.
3. Using Poor or Inadequate Contracts
Another consequence of working without a lawyer is that business owners may find themselves in unfavorable contracts or agreements. Entrepreneurs without a legal background often need help understanding the finer details of legal documents and agreements. This can lead to them signing on to terms and conditions they do not fully comprehend or those not beneficial to them. In some cases, entrepreneurs may find themselves locked into contracts with unfavorable terms and conditions or punitive clauses. Such contracts can be damaging in the long run and put a business at an unnecessary disadvantage.
Having legal advice when entering into any contract is essential to protect businesses from potential risks and losses. A good legal advisor can review contractual terms, identify red flags, and ensure that the company is not signing on to unfavorable conditions or clauses.
4. Dealing with Legal Disputes and Litigation
Finally, not having the right legal advice can lead to costly legal disputes or even litigation. Without a proper understanding of laws and regulations, businesses may end up in a dispute with other parties that could have been avoided if they had sought the appropriate legal advice. This can be expensive, time-consuming, and detrimental to the business's reputation.
In addition to the financial costs associated with legal disputes, there is also a risk of reputational damage. Businesses can find themselves in a difficult position if their practices are found to be non-compliant or illegal. This kind of negative publicity can lead to a decline in customers and suppliers and an overall decrease in business operations and profits.
C. Conclusion – The Value of Having a Lawyer on Your Team
Having a lawyer on your team is an invaluable asset for any business. Anytime there is a legal issue, whether contract disputes or compliance issues, having a lawyer handle it can mean the difference between success and failure. Lawyers can provide strategic advice on how to move forward with your business in a way that is compliant with the law and gives you the best outcome possible. If necessary, they can also help you navigate any potential legal problems, from negotiation to litigation. The value of having a lawyer on your team is immeasurable and well worth the investment.
Spiller Law is an advisor to startup businesses, entertainment and media companies, and artists. Feel free to schedule a free consultation.
Spiller Law is a San Francisco business, entertainment, and estate planning law firm. We serve clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and California. Feel free to arrange a free consultation using the Schedule Appointment link on our website. For other questions, feel free to call our offices at 415-991-7298.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers are advised to consult with their legal counsel for specific advice.