Start Ups Are Different. Their Lawyers Need to Be Too.
Time and again, we have seen start up entrepreneurs spend money on lawyers before they are even sure that their business idea has legs. Sure, it feels good to know that your business structure is properly papered, but what good are these nice looking legal documents when you find that you have no money left to validate that you have a product that customers want?
We are strong believers in Lean Start up Methodology, which is emerging as the dominant framework for building a viable business from the ground up. Those following the guidelines of Lean Start up will recognize that, along with all other aspects of a new venture, start up legal efforts must operate "lean." The Lean Legal Team of Michael / Hutter Team works with your start up team to provide the right amount of legal service for each stage. We might even tell you that we want don't to take your money until you have demonstrated that you can make money with your business idea. If it sounds odd that we might turn away the opportunity to generate revenue from start up companies like yours, it shouldn't. We want our clients to create value for not only us, but for themselves and our community. Spending money on lawyers like us prematurely may make it nearly impossible for you be successful. So we would rather defer the opportunity to make a small amount of cash, while at the same time generating the kind of good will with you and your peers that will provide us with clients for the long term.
Start Up Legal Cost Control. It’s Not Rocket Surgery.
While start up companies often have unique or even disruptive business ideas, when it comes to their legal issues, the legal issues facing start ups are pretty much the same. This means that new ventures can often rely on standard legal forms and general advice, especially at the company's earliest stages. Many sources of startup legal information and even very solid forms are freely available in today's connected world. Entrepreneurs who avail themselves of these resources can expect to save considerable expense by avoiding engaging a lawyer to handle routine founding documents. Some resources we like are listed on the Michael / Hutter Blog under the tag "start up legal hacks."
Typically, as long as you set up your company using "best practices" shared by fellow entrepreneurs, VC's and friends of start ups, you could have a solid enough legal foundation without spending loads of money on lawyers. As your start up progresses, your legal issues will grow more complex and we would definitely recommend that you formally engage our team to assist you.
For all businesses, however, the "devil is in the details," and self-help can have its limits. Even an early stage start up could benefit from at least a consultation with the Lean Legal Team to ensure that you are setting up your structure appropriately and to give you insights into when the time is right to engage us on a broader basis. If you do engage us, we can assure you that we will apply Lean processes to your legal issues, and we will minimize your expense as much as practicable.
As you work toward validating your business model and confirming that customers and profits are truly possible, you definitely should bring us in to assess your legal needs as soon as possible. At that time, we will assess your needs and provide you with the guidance and documents necessary to ensure that your start up possesses a solid legal foundation. Of course, we will still provide you with efficient and high quality work product according to Lean principles because that's how the Lean Legal Team of Michael / Hutter Team rolls.