Monday, April 7, 2008

Business' Top Ten Legal Mistakes

From 2003 and the Harvard Business School comes the article Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs. Good points in the article even if all will not apply to all small businesses.

"'While the language of the law can be intimidating, the concepts are usually quite straightforward,' she says. 'Lawyers tend to be risk averse, and if you delegate to them you will usually stay out of legal trouble but can often compromise your business objectives. My goal for the course—and for the coaching I give entrepreneurs—is to give them sufficient comfort with the legal concepts to feel confident in driving the process, to understand the ways in which the law is a constraint, but also the ways in which it is a tool that can help you create and capture value.'"
I agree with the description of lawyers as risk averse - our job is to protect our client's best interests - but I disagree with the verb "delegate". As a business owner you ask what are the risks, I give you the risks, and then we perform a cost-benefit analysis. The lawyer's job should then become working to minimize the legal risks.