Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Always Mean You Should.

April 1, 2022 | Written By Craig Yaris

Advice for Using the Web to Meet Your Legal Needs When Starting a Business

Starting a business is both stressful and rewarding, but it also opens the door to plenty of unsolicited advice–advice that may mean well but not serve you in today’s economy or environment. Much of this advice may not even be directly related to your business or your current needs. Oftentimes, online search results are too broad to adequately reflect the needs of the person searching, and therefore, may not provide you with adequate answers or the specific information you were looking for. The following will outline some of the choices that you may need to make as a new business owner and provide tools to assist in gleaning the right advice for your specific needs.

Corporate Entity

Every new business needs to form a “corporation,” no matter what form that takes, whether a “C” corporation, an “LLC,” or any other variation of corporate structure. A simple Google search on “forming a corporation,” will produce many websites, offering all manners of services and advising unsuspecting business owners on the “best choice for their needs.” Unfortunately, this advice is often offered without regard for any of the relevant or personal information of the business owners, and with too large a focus on the cost of the filing fee. I see many new clients that have naively formed an LLC solely because it was the cheapest option on the self-service website. I certainly understand the need for a new business to be strategic in how they spend their funds, but I am also a strong advocate for my client’s understanding of why certain decisions are made and how those decisions affect their business. Just because something is the cheapest option, doesn't mean it was necessarily the right choice for the needs of the business owner.

Corporate Documents

While search engines can be helpful in discovering the best local pizza or things to see while traveling, they are not the best place to go for important legal documents. Many of my clients come to me after downloading generic contracts from the internet, whether employment agreements, shareholder agreements, or lease agreements to name a few; these documents are now causing issues, as they were not drafted with the specific needs of the business in mind. It is these documents that are now bringing them to my door - they are now in need of documents that will protect them.

Website Provisions

In today’s world, most new businesses come with the need for an accompanying website. When building out a website in any of the major platforms, be careful of blindly utilizing the generic documents provided by the hosting platform, to include terms and conditions, privacy policy, cookie policy, return policy, and/or a warranty policy. While using these generic policy documents is “probably” better than nothing, they will have been drafted to cover every type of business - not your business–and they may not answer some very important questions, such as:

  • Does your business operate and offer products overseas?
  • Do you have customers in California?
  • Are you using an email gathering tool?
  • Are you collecting sales tax?
  • What is the refund policy for online products? Physical Products?
  • How long are cookies maintained?
  • What happens if someone violates the terms you set forth?
  • What information do you maintain on the customers and for how long?

Having these documents reviewed and/or drafted by an attorney will ensure that they cover all the issues necessary to protect your new business.

As you embark on business ownership, or as your business continues to grow, please make sure to embrace the idea that “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” This will ensure that all the decisions you make as a business owner will best serve you. And, by employing an attorney in the early stages, you can circumvent any potential problems that may arise from taking the easy route.

Want to discuss this further? Call me at 646-970-3368, or set up an appointment by visiting https://bit.ly/CEYInitialConsultation.

I look forward to helping you.

Craig E. Yaris is a partner at Parlatore Law Group, with the experience and drive to handle all your Franchise, General Business Practice, and Mediation needs. As a former small business owner and Chief Operating Officer of a franchisor himself, Mr. Yaris is passionate about promoting business growth. He has experience handling daily operations, employee disputes, and negotiations of pertinent contracts for a franchise company with 100 locations in five states, where he organized and conducted semi- annual meetings to educate and inform franchisees of best practices for improved growth. In addition, Mr. Yaris was responsible for the preparation and filing of the UFOC (Uniform Franchise Offering Circular) in several states and is well-versed in business formation. For more about Mr. Yaris, click here.





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