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8 Reasons why the most successful startups hire a lawyer and why you should

The focus of entrepreneurs when starting a business should be developing the product and building the brand. In carrying out any business, there are teething legal issues that cannot be ignored or shelved as they are key in the development of the business. For this reason and to enable the entrepreneurs focus on business generation, some of the most successful business startups have found it necessary to analyse and manage their legal risk by engaging Legal counsel.

While an entrepreneur could be worried about the cost of hiring a legal team, the Cost-benefit analysis, definitely suggests that it is more efficient to hire a lawyer at the earliest time possible and here are 8 reasons why:

You might have considered operating your business as a sole proprietor, or perhaps in partnership or running a corporation. However, you may be oblivious of the legal ramifications of either of your decision. Compliance requirements, tax obligations, liability in case of insolvency vary for each of the business models, and your lawyer will best break down the ramifications of selecting either of the business structure, to help you decide on one that is properly aligned to your business objectives.

A start-up business requires capital in order to take off and grow and there are various available options for raising capital. Whether you are raising capital through debt-financing, equity financing, venture capital, e.t.c; it is important that you not only engage a finance expert but equally a lawyer.
A lawyer will help you through contract negotiation, contract review and ensure that you understand the legal implication of your financial choices and the financial obligations that you intend to be bound by

A lawyer will provide you with the proper insights as to why, when and how to protect your business’ through intellectual property rights. Your business brand is one of your key income generation assets. This is because it helps clients identify your products and distinguish them from those of your competitors. If you do not properly protect your brand you may incur insurmountable losses. Intellectual property rights help to protect your brand, your trade secrets, the processes and methods of inventing your products or undertaking services. Intellectual Property Right ensures that the business benefits and maximizes from innovations and inventions that it creates, through patenting and registration of copyrights, as the case may be. Your lawyer will guide you on the most suitable intellectual property rights applicable to protect your business.

Tax advisory and tax compliance are also very important services that lawyers offer their start- up clients. With the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) zeroing in and keen on tax evaders, the last thing you would want is a tax oversight that would get you in trouble with the tax man and expose you to legal liability. A lawyer would save your business money, by advising you on business decisions that would save you from tax liability, inform you on various tax exemptions that you qualify for and take you through the process ofapplying for tax waivers and tax

As a business startup you might need to employ other people to help you run your business and it is important that your Lawyer guides you on the applicable regulations, policy, and laws related to hiring employees or independent contractors. Your lawyer will also help you come up with employment contracts and human resource manual which will contain all the mandatory employment policies. The right legal advice will considerably limit potential employer-employee feuds and even where they do arise reduce the business’ liability on the same.

A business startup, will also most definitely enter into several contractual relationships with various stakeholders. While some contractual relationships might be rudimentary others might be complex and definitely require legal expertise to navigate. Whichever the case, the need to have a seasoned legal mind to be involved in the preparation, review and overall management of the various contract engagement cannot be overly stated. Your Lawyer will ensure that the contracts that bind you and your business, represent your best interest while shielding you from unnecessary exposure to legal liability.

Acquiring various business licenses and permits is a responsibility that your business startup could delegate to your lawyer as part of business compliance. Changes in Legislation at both the national and county level could affect your business operation. It is important to have legal counsel that keeps abreast with these changes and ensures your business complies with the current laws at any given time. A business may also be mandated, by certain bodies, to abide by certain regulatory and policy requirements, which your legal counsel would ensure compliance

Finally having a legal expert to handle of your business’ legal queries would provide you with just the peace of mind you need and help you shift all your focus on other critical areas that would require your involvement.

At Netsheria our goal is to assist entrepreneurs and startups to form and grow their businesses. We support you with a full suite of startup services that motivate you to chase your dream with a trusted partner by your side. We have a,vibrant team of experienced lawyers who are eager to guide you as you navigate through establishing your startup into a successful business venture. Contact us today at info@netsheria.com, law@netsheria.com or call us on +254 741 296087.


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