If you’re like most people, legalese will either make your eyes glaze over or your hands go a little clammy.
You know there’s a whole lot of stuff you should have in place to make sure that you’ve covered your backside, and you know that copy-pasting a template from the internet simply isn’t going to cut it… You’re no lawyer and you really can’t afford to hire the big guns – you just want someone to make the whole process easy for you — right!?
You’re certainly not alone.
Legals are dang important for any business – big and small, and yet they seem to be one of the most difficult, expensive and overwhelming things to get on top of. That’s why we’ve partnered with Rizwana from Foundd Legal to bring you the inside scoop on what you *really* need to worry about when it comes to getting your legals sorted.
Riz! Thanks so much for joining us! Can you start by telling us a little about you and what you do?
My name is Rizwana but known as Riz. I have been a lawyer for more than 16 years. I have worked for big corporates with my core focus on contract drafting and negotiating. I also run an ecommerce business and have done for the last 8 years (www.pureman.com.au). I love helping SMEs, creatives and start ups to set themselves up for success by ensuring that they have the right legal foundations in place.
What inspired you to get into law in the first place?
A few things I guess, in part my tendency to want to fix / solve problems (Im the the eldest of 6 so they all looked to me for a solution) and partly due to an amazing mentor when I started life as an “office junior” aka general dogsbody at a law firm called Eversheds in Cardiff.
Why are legals so important in business, and what’s the risk in not being covered?
Picture this, you got the domain name, you got the company name, you have spent a lot of money on the look and feel of your brand and you go live, and a few days later you get a formal notice telling you, that you are breaching someone else’s trademark, you now have to start again. All that time and money wasted. Also I see so many times start ups not having the right contracts in place resulting in giving away their intellectual property, not getting paid on time and dealing with the dreaded scope creep. Why set up your business on weak foundations? Also Im a strong believer of being proactive rather than reactive and as your business grows, there is more to protect.
Is it just the big brands that need to worry about the legal side of their business, or do small brands and startups need to worry, too?
Definitely not! I think it’s as important if not more important for small brands and startups to ensure that they are legally protected and it doesn’t have to cost you your first born to achieve that.
At a minimum, what are the key ‘legal documents’ that all business owners need to have in place to be legally covered?
If you are a service provider and have a website, then at a minimum:
Website terms and conditions
Terms & Conditions (Services Agreement)
If you use subcontractors then you will also need an Independent Contractor Agreement.
The online world changes so fast – how do we stay up-to-date with the demands of running a business and being covered from a legal standpoint?
Well if you buy your templates from Foundd Legal, you will automatically get updated versions of the templates purchased for life! When you purchase a custom service, you get so much value as we include a strategy session and a follow up. We also offer subscription packages so you can hit us up for adhoc legal advice with costs spread out over 12 months!
What’s the difference between taking a template off the internet and adapting it, versus hiring a professional to create custom legal documents?
What are your top 3 tips for small business looking to get their legals sorted?
Choose the right Structure – choosing the right business structure is important as it has implications for the life of the business.
Protect your intellectual property! It’s one of the main assets of a small business. Small business owners have a tendency to underestimate the value of their intellectual property.
The right legal documents! Another way to protect your assets, limit your liability, protect your time (scope creep) and set clear boundaries with your clients.
Are there any budget-friendly options for small business owners to get legal help without the hefty price tag?
We like to think of ourselves as a company that works a little bit differently, so we can help you grow your business in the best and most lucrative ways possible. I intentionally set up our business to make it affordable, accessible and less daunting for potential clients! We want the legal part of their biz, which as far as we’re concerned is a major part, to be super sound.
We have templates that are packed full of protections around key pain points such as payment terms, termination, dealing with scope creep and you can hit us up for a 20 minute free consult to talk through your purchase, we also offer custom services at a fixed price point so no hidden surprises or our subscription service for a low monthly fee. Following feedback from clients, we are also looking at startup packages so watch this space!
How can our community get in contact with you if they want help getting their legal shiz sorted?
You can find us on Instagram and Facebook at @founddlegal, or our website www.founddlegal.com, or you can email us at email@example.com. You can book a free 20 minute consultation with us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help.