I have to admit, when it comes to setting up the legal side of things within your business, I am hesitant to use the basic template based offerings that currently exist in the market. At first they may seem to be the easy, no fuss and cheaper option and all of this is music to a startups ears – but if and when shit hits the fan – which it sometimes does, that template you used and bought for a couple of hundred dollars means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Over the last two years I have learnt a lot, and the number one thing I have learnt is that a law subject in university and some experience working with contracts in the corporate world does not a lawyer make. I like I imagine many startups have done in the past, are doing right now and will probably do in the future, found a site that had all the legal templates I needed, signed up and DID EVERYTHING! That means setting up my company, incorporating it, putting in place a share agreement and it only cost me a bit under $600 including the business registration with ASIC.
Because I was so gun-ho and excited about “getting started” I completely missed protecting myself against certain things applicable to the media industry, sweat equity arrangements I had put in place and I completely misunderstood the differences and consequences of shreholders vs directors. These mistakes can end up costing you big time in the long run, and trust me that $600 can turn into $30,000 very quickly if things turn ugly in your business.
The ready to go HR and Legal document space is really heating up right now and disruptive players such as Legal Vision have started to factor the need for premium services into their offerings to help protect the startup space against mistakes that are far too easily made.
“Due to our low overheads we can quote extremely competitive prices for clients, usually coming in at less than 50% of the cost that a traditional law firm charge,” said Lachlan McKnight, co-founder and CEO of LegalVision.com.au. “By creating a document using our software, and then having one of our lawyers review it, customers get the best of both worlds; low fees through the use of software and the personal touch of a lawyer. We are now Australia’s only full service legal hub.”
“Since launching, we’ve had many customers ask us to complete legal projects on their behalf, from acting on the sale of a business to drafting bespoke terms and conditions. We’ve therefore started working with our network of online lawyers to provide these additional services,” adds Evan-Tait Styles, CTO.