With the rise of DIY legal services, many entrepreneurs and small business owners may find themselves pondering the following questions, “should I incorporate myself or use a lawyer?” or “Should I hire a lawyer for opening up a small business?” If you find yourself asking these questions, you should consider a few things before making a decision.
One thing to consider is whether you have the time to do the research. At the same time, do you want to rush through something that seems mundane, which could make or break your business? An experienced business lawyer has probably incorporated dozens of companies in multiple states. The time you’ll spend finding the right state website alone could be used for other tasks.
Another factor to consider is whether you have sufficient knowledge to perform the task at hand. For example, how comfortable are you discussing the differences between a Sole-proprietorship, LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, or Partnership? An experienced business lawyer will ask you the important and nuanced questions to make sure you’re starting the business on the right foot.
Lastly, do you have the resources to lay the proper foundation for your entity? Do you know which governing documents are needed to establish the proper ownership structure, distribute shares, or the like? While DIY resources offer templates, and you could certainly find templates online, do you fully understand them? An experienced business lawyer has templates for dozens of industries, which would allow them to tailor the document to your needs. DIY sites typically offer one template for everyone, and templates from random websites are unreliable.
If you’re one of the many entrepreneurs or small business owners asking yourself if you should incorporate your entity yourself or use a lawyer, consider whether you have the time, knowledge, and resources to properly form your entity. The long-term gain of hiring an experienced business lawyer day one will most likely outweigh the short-term pain of spending money to do so.