You should not start a business without consulting with professionals, and that includes a lawyer. I’ve seen too many folks try to DIY the start-up, and though they save money on the front end, they end up spending at least 10 times more on the back end to fix issues that could have been completely prevented. But professionals (especially lawyers) are expensive. So what to do? I’ve got an idea…
For years I have observed the same problem with fledgling businesses – they need lots of legal advice upon start-up, but are afraid they can’t afford it. If they do seek help with formation issues, they are often shocked when they receive an initial bill and do not seek legal advice for any of the other issues that can come up during that crucial first year. This nearly always results in some form of legal issue (contracts that can not be terminated, leases with terrible terms, absence of buy-sell agreements, etc.) that arises some time later that often can sink what might have been a quite profitable business. In observing this pattern, I knew there was a better way. That’s why I created the “Let’s Get It Started” legal package. So how does it work? See below!
- Month 1: $500 (covers preparation of formation documents, guidance as to the appropriate entity choice for your situation and assistance in obtaining an EIN (federal tax id) for the entity). Cost includes the Minnesota state filing fee of $160, and the legal time to prepare and file the documents. (This standard rate is for single member entities. Entities with more than one owner will be charged regular hourly rates if the preparation time for their documents exceeds 2 hours.)
- Months 2-12: businesses can choose one of two plans – the two hour per month plan ($250 per month) or the three hour per month plan ($400 per month).Worried you won’t use all of the hours? No problem – hours can be rolled over from month to month, and you’ll receive a follow-up call every month to discuss all business related items.
- Trademark Add-On: any time in months 3-12 of the first year an owner can pay a one-time fee of $500 for a federal trademark registration (this price includes the $275 filing fee). Often the business name and goodwill associated with it are an owner’s greatest asset, and this plan aims to protect that asset from the very beginning.
So that’s the plan. Is it revolutionary? No, other lawyers and firms have created similar plans, but I think the Davis Law Office “Let’s Get It Started” plan has some distinct advantages. It’s all set forth ahead of time, the costs are clearly detailed, and it will, at least I hope, get business owners to pick up the phone and ask for help when they need it, not after the damage is done. So come on, “Let’s Get It Started!”