If you’re thinking about starting a business, you’ve probably already considered doing it on your own. In most states, making your business its own legal entity just requires filing a form and making a payment to the appropriate part of the government. Some let you do it all online. As for contracts and other paperwork – even if you’re ready to admit you don’t want to risk writing them on your own they can be readily downloaded for low or no cost to you. At first glance it looks like starting a business has never been easier or cheaper.
However, as with many things, looks can be deceiving. Most DIY solutions are all about the short-term. If you want your business to last, you have to keep an eye to the future. Depending on your plans and goals, the entity that seems right today might not be the best over the life of your business. If you end up having to make a change later, the tax consequences can be crushing. The generic non-compete you downloaded online to make sure your best talent couldn’t leave for (or worse, create) the competition could easily turn out to be completely unenforceable in your state. The boilerplate provisions in that contract you printed and used a thousand times might be the very knot used to hang you by a customer or vendor in a business dispute. The cheapest DIY options also leave the rules about how your business will run at the highest level either unclear or unwritten. Worse still, maybe the resource you used dismissed all that entity-selection stuff as useless gobbledygook. Years later, when the house or car you owned free-and-clear is subjected to a lien because someone slipped and fell at your restaurant it certainly won’t seem so unnecessary.
But if there are all these problems with DIY start-up why would so many people use it? The simple answer is misunderstanding the cost of quality legal services – a problem deliberately driven by providers of these more rudimentary services. At Garrett, Walker & Aycoth, we strive to be champions for small business, providing affordable, tailored representation coupled with a key promise – we never try to sell our clients things they don’t need, but we always advise them fully about what they should do to protect themselves. And we provide follow-up service and consistent representation you can count on throughout the life of your business.
Call us today at (336) 379-0539 to learn how our attorneys can help make your dream a reality – the right way!