? Re: Legal Advice from Home Based business
I am in the process of starting a home based business. I have a business lawyer that was recommended through a SBA counselor. The lawyer is quite pricey. From my initial meeting with her, she shared that when people try to go it alone regarding legal aspects of their business (i.e. legal kits, website info, etc.), many end up having to go to a lawyer any way and end up paying them more to fix the problem then they would have paid if only they had gone to them first. I also heard this from someone married to a lawyer. Now I am interested in hearing how true this is from people who are not lawyers (or married to one), and are self employed in a home business. Does one really need a lawyer to find out when to copy right and/or trademark, and how to do it? Does one need to ask a lawyer about every move (i.e. flier distribution, what should go on the flier to make sure there are no legal violations and to make sure the intellectual property of my business is protected, etc.).?Another issue..I submitted a request to my lawyer and her assistant over two weeks ago and never got it answered. I checked in with her assistant once via email. She replied that the lawyer had been sick and would call me that week. After waiting all week, I finally emailed the assistant back the Friday before Labor Day weekend, and have yet to hear back from anyone from that firm. I`ve met with the lawyer only once in person, and it was a hefty charge. My latest request is info I wish for her to email me, which she has not done yet. At the rate of $210 an hour, I`d expect more. What are your thoughts?
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I`d certainly agree that a lawyer is an extremely important member to have on your team of advisors. However, I`d grab some self-help legal books (anything from Nolo is high quality) before meeting with a lawyer.
I`ve generally found that spending $20 on a book and spending some time reading can help you to need need less face to face lawyer time. In other words, meeting with a lawyer is important, but do a little research ahead of time and you can shorten-up your meetings, and thus shrink your bill. (Same thing with taxes and your accountant).
A copywrite is different and can be implied by simplu announcing the material is copywrited...like a webpage.
I`m not an attorney...nor do I play one on TV
I just wanted to take a moment to say something. If you are new and not financially in a position to afford a pricey lawyer, you have two options...find a financial planner/accountant/tax lawyer who can help. The other option is to do the foot work yourself. Obviously, when we`re starting out, we don`t have the money to invest in people to support us. But remember...there will come a time in any successful business when the owner will be able to choose to wear all the hats and continue to do everything or delegate and hire people to do that.
Here is one place where having connections works well. Have you attended any SBA functions, Chamber of Commerce meetings, etc.? Take some time to mingle and meet. Be sure your business cards make you look good, and hand them out. Be prepared to get cards too, and jot down what you want to remember about the contact. When you`ve made contact, you are now in a position to call and mention where you met them, that you were impressed with what they had to say and wanted their advice on a good consultant.
Something to consider. I was going to say I`d be happy not to wear all the hats, but then I can`t say for sure. I wear many of the hats in our business, but I also know everything that goes on. Sometimes I enjoy that, sometimes I`d rather just do what I love doing.
I`d have to agree...you`ve got to do the research if you`re really going to be able to help yourself (even if you do end up using a lawyer) Spend the day in Barnes & Noble; I think you`ll learn a lot.
I found that legalzone.com was very helpful and certainly less than $200+ an hour. Is it just me or is that crazy?