I recently read a post over on VentureHacks titled, “Top Ten Reasons Entrepreneurs Hate Lawyers” written by Scott Walker (who blogs on legal issues for entrepreneurs). I know that people have an allergy to lawyers out of fear of being screwed. Much of this is unfounded — some is not. If you’re a startup and you don’t have a close relationship with a few law firms you’re really missing one of the most important relationships that any entrepreneur can have.
If you don’t follow the image reference above or the tag line,”You don’t need double talk; you need Bob Loblaw” (try saying it out loud), and if you care! the link is here.
This all got me thinking about a post on how to best work with lawyers. This is stuff I tell people verbally at least twice / month so I’m glad to finally get it into written format.
1. When to get a lawyer — If you plan to be a venture or angel backed technology company (what I mostly write about) the best time to start meeting and getting to know lawyers is long before you ever start your company. Many people start companies arse backwards. They get together with a few buddies, bounce around ideas, build some code (sometimes internally, sometimes through contractors), start talking to potential angel investors and then register their company. This is one of the biggest source of future problems for the company. I write about some of the lessons in my post on Startup Mistakes.