by Hoogie Espinosa . October 8th, 2014
The business world has a ton of rules and loopholes for one to learn. Sadly, the number of these things your business has to pass through is so huge, you’d need to be a specialist to memorize even just a huge portion of them. And we call on these specialists for their advice because we all know that a small ditch can reveal itself to be a gaping abyss all the way to the Earth’s core.
When you have a business, you’ll have a lot of delicate information that could bring you down if in the wrong hands. Hidden projects, possible moves, etc. And it’s quite normal to give an NDA to your regular employees. However a lot of people miss out by not giving NDAs to people they contract for specific projects. I find this a lot more dangerous because you probably haven’t developed a deep relationship with the contractee.
A good way to save money is getting an accountant. Despite not being an attorney, these guys are trained to know laws that have to do with money and business and gracefully dance around them. They’re a lot cheaper too. But of course, like with any other profession, there will be the good accountants and the bad ones. Know how to tell them apart.
An obvious but common legal mistake is not fixing a personalized service agreement or at least taking it lightly. A lot of people think it’s ok to copy-paste the document from a template, which can leave you defenseless in many areas. Specify the provisions, the payment, the return policy, and any disclaimers you might need to make.
A common problem with a lot of people is that they go to lawyers when their world crumbles. Just like with a doctor, you should go to your lawyer for regular checkups. Problems are a lot easier and cheaper to solve when they don’t exist. It may seem like a big chunk of extra expense, but you’ll be saving a lot of money by doing so.
Remember that when getting a lawyer, you are actually hiring one. and like any other person working for you, you want the best. Don’t go for one just because they were the first you met, or that they’re your friend, or even if it was a referral from a relative. Look at all your options and choose wisely.
Starting an LLC may have lots of tempting benefits, but it has one really huge problem. You’ll be subject to self-employment tax. Depending on where you are at life right now, you might not be able to afford this, especially with a startup. I’mnot saying you shouldn’t start your company, because that’d cause a huge rash of what-ifs. But if you need a constant flow of decent money from the get go, an LLC might be the wrong choice.