This is part of my Series on Entrepreneurial Culture.
classic Warren Zevon refrain, “Send Lawyers, Guns and Money”,
could very wellepitomize the attitude many first-time entrepreneurs take on when launching their
companies. In fact, I’m asked the
question, “Which lawyer should I hire?” so often that I decided to share my
quick thoughts on this matter.
my opinion you actually do not need a lawyer. What you really need is a successful
serial entrepreneur to be your mentor. She or he can help you not only with
incorporation but with all the other issues you’ll be facing as you launch the
In a nutshell- hold your fire and save your money.
it’s a breeze to incorporate online and there are services such as Legal Zoom
and others that remove any need whatsoever for engaging counsel. Furthermore, standard Operating Agreements are widely
available and figuring out whether to start an LLC, an S Corp or a C Corp or what state is best suited for your newco basically involves a two minute
conversation with your mentor. To pay a
lawyer a handsome retainer and hourly fees to help you with any of these issues
is a complete waste of money in my opinion.
you don’t have an experienced mentor to help you and absolutely insist on
hiring a lawyer, please remember that these services are a commodity. You
should only work with reputable, respected lawyers that primarily work with
start-up companies and who are well-regarded in your local entrepreneurial and
investment community. If you go elsewhere you will most likely be shelling out
thousands of dollars for the usual rigmarole.
Reputable counsel will help you set things up inexpensively and will be
a resource that is available to you as you grow your company. Their value will manifest itself once you actually
have a revenue-generating business and are perhaps raising your first round of
I of course welcome you to share your thoughts and experiences on this topic.