Why a lawyer for your tech startup is necessary:
If your tech startup doesn't hire a lawyer early, you could be planning to fail.
Litigation is reaching unprecedented levels in the tech industry. It's also becoming increasingly more complex to start a company.
Retaining a lawyer for tech startups could be the difference between success and failure. In your company's crucial early days, you can't afford to get it wrong.
Let's take a look at why lawyers are necessary for a tech startup.
Crossing the "T"s and Dotting the "I"s
Running a business is complicated, and that can distract from your core business focus.
Retaining a lawyer in your early days could save you a lot of time later. Your lawyer will be able to make sure your business has its paperwork in order and is registered correctly.
In the beginning, you might have a lack of experience running a business. And yet this can be one of the most legally complex periods for a business. Your lawyer will be able to ensure you don't have to backtrack later to fix errors you made when starting up your company.
Keeping a lawyer for tech startups will also make it less likely you'll be hit with legal audits and penalties at a later date.
Copyright, Trademarks, and Intellectual Property
The tech industry can be a cutthroat world. Trademark and copyright litigation are on the rise.
Lawyers are vital if you're developing new tech solutions. They can help protect you from frivolous lawsuits and rival companies. They can also help straighten out any legitimate action that might ensue.
Intellectual property law can be a quagmire. So, it's important that your lawyer understands your business and what you do.
Software licenses present a legal challenge. If you make mistakes in your EULA, you could be effectively handing your product out for free! A lawyer will be able to ensure your wording protects the interests of your business well into the future.
Once you've built a brand, you need to protect it. Filing for the correct trademarks, whether Federal, State, or both, could save your brand from being undermined by a competitor. By starting to work with a trusted attorney from the beginning, you'll know exactly who to call when you need someone ready to handle your legal needs, like challenging a trademark infringement.
Again, a lawyer who knows your business is in a better place to defend you. Of course, as an “employee” of your new start-up, they'll also have a vested interest in seeing your business succeed. There's a lot to be said for a lawyer who has more reasons than just money to defend their client.
At Brown Huff Zohar we pride ourselves on being available for our clients around the clock. We partner with highly experienced intellectual property experts around the country to ensure our clients receive the greatest protections. Our skilled team will stand by you every step of the way, so no stone goes untouched. Just ask one of our current clients, which includes mobile applications developers and virtual reality engineers.
Leading Edge Concerns
Leading edge technologies raise new questions.
Say, for instance, you're working on new social media technology that relies on gathering user data to be effective. This presents overarching privacy concerns and potential violations of the terms of service of each social media site.
Brown Huff Zohar can help ensure your work complies with existing privacy regulations. We will scour the TOS of other sites your technology might be using for anything which could cause legal trouble. We will protect your rights.
The same goes for unique business positions.
Even if you're only leveraging existing technology, you could be changing the future of business. Companies like Uber are almost literally reinventing the wheel. That raises many questions about regulations and public safety.
Physical technologies face the same challenges.
You could be a startup specializing in drone tech, for example. This is a field where regulation hasn't entirely caught up with technology. Without the knowledge of an in-house lawyer, you could become a negative legal precedent that new regulations are built on.
Data breaches are becoming a huge concern for any company reliant on technology. Even large multinational companies are struggling to protect themselves. The household brand of larger companies makes them a target, but hackers also understand that smaller companies are usually more vulnerable because of their lack of security.
Having Brown Huff Zohar on retainer could protect you from the worst fallout of a data breach. If your company holds private data, it is responsible for protecting that data. Brown Huff Zohar will offer advice on the legal requirements you need to meet to protect your data. With regulation becoming more complicated, you need someone who understands the fine details.
When you are challenged, your company will need to show they did everything legally required to secure customer data. This might mean your startup going under the microscope. Without a lawyer to protect you, you might have left some obvious gaps in your policies. Attorneys at Brown Huff Zohar spent a number of years working in financial regulation, regulating the records and due diligence taken by public companies that trade on the markets. They know what compliance is all about. They know how to uncover flaws in the system. They are experienced with pointing out red flags that expose companies to legal and compliance risks. They are here to help you.
Business 101 says that avoiding a crisis is cheaper than fixing it.
Hiring Brown Huff Zohar for your tech startup means steering your business away from these crises. Instead of spending money fixing a problem, you will be able to invest that money back into your business.
Legal crises can have enormous ramifications. You could lose millions of dollars. Your public and professional reputation could be tarnished forever.
Being on the wrong side of the law is one of the major ways to draw a negative public opinion.
If you're able to avoid simple startup mistakes thanks to your lawyer’s advice at the beginning, you'll have an edge on the competition. While they are flailing around to course correct, you may focus on your core business, continue to grow, and surpass the business of your rivals.
Filling Knowledge Gaps
Quick test: Make a list of things you don't know about the law.
Impossible, isn't it? That's because you don't actually know what knowledge you're missing. Even if you follow instructions to the letter, you'll still miss things you've simply never heard of.
A lawyer represents expert advice. They know their industry and take for granted things that are new information to you. You're much less likely to be blindsided if you keep a lawyer on the books.
Surprises are generally bad for business. A lawyer for tech startups is an element of a strong foundation. Brown Huff Zohar Law will ensure your basics are covered so that surprises are less likely to shake your entire company - or destroy it.
Most businesses understand that they need experts to get things done. But lawyers are one area where startups still continue to skimp and think they can go at it alone. The truth is, the law is one of the most likely failure points for a new business. Don’t make the same mistake as your predecessors.
Shaping Your Business
Your legal advice should be a pillar of your business.
Just like a finance team, having a lawyer for your tech startup means you can incorporate their services into your plans and budget. Your lawyer will be able to offer advice on contract negotiations. They can tell you what responsibilities you have to your employees. They'll be able to tell you about tax benefits your company can make use of. In the competitive tech industry, preventing loss of cash to taxes could give you the edge.
Hiring a lawyer for your tech startup can also add legitimacy to your business. This can attract opportunities that your startup might otherwise miss out on. Larger companies are more likely to take notice of a startup that can present itself as a serious business.
Finally, attorneys at Brown Huff Zohar will support you as you grow. If your business begins to change, they’ll be able to advise on new legal requirements and any regulations that might affect you. Without a lawyer on retainer, you might end up working with outdated information.
Drawing Up Contracts
The tech industry is increasingly interlinked both internally and externally.
Tech giants routinely employ contractors. Perhaps your business will work for one of them.
Or maybe you'll hire contractors of your own. In either case, you have the minefield of contracts to negotiate your way through.
Business law can read like nonsense legalese to laymen. That means you could find yourself bound to unfavorable terms. But breaching your contract could destroy your reputation and your wallet.
Hiring a lawyer for your tech startup means you don't have to waste time trying to get the paperwork right. You can focus on your core business. And even if you did try to go it alone, there's no guarantee you'd get it right - even after you've spent all that time trying.
As we've mentioned, business opportunities are more likely to come your way with a lawyer on board. Larger companies would rather let their legal teams hash out the specifics of an agreement. Without a lawyer, you're missing a vital tool when it comes to negotiation.
Retain a Lawyer for Tech Startups
If this isn't enough to make you think, then consider that 50% of businesses fail in their first four years. Your startup will need all the help it can get to survive. Failing to hire a lawyer for your tech startup leaves a glaring weakness in your company.