The Golden Age of DIY
We live in a golden age of DIY. Thousands of video tutorials can teach you any skill. If you are looking to learn in a more structured way, you can select an online degree from a dizzying array of choices. The dream of being your own boss has, for so many, never been more in reach. From quitting your full-time job to make couture dishcloths sold through an app to making keychain charms on a 3D printer, making and selling a product or service has become accessible to the masses as never before.
“Surely I can have an app or website handle my legal affairs also?” You might ask. “If I can order a car sight-unseen through my phone, surely a small business owner like me doesn’t need a real legal team, right?”
As we will discuss below, even if your business is a one-person show, you need a lawyer to help you through changing and challenging circumstances.
What is a Sole Proprietorship?
The simplest business form is the sole proprietorship. This is what most would-be entrepreneurs dream of when they imagine starting their own business. With one owner directly engaged in running the business, it truly is “being your own boss.”
So long as one is doing business under one’s legal name, rather than under a business name, there is no required paperwork for starting a sole proprietorship in Massachusetts. Some goods or services, like hairdressing, may require a business or professional license, however,
The downside of a sole proprietorship is that there is no distance, no daylight between you and your business for legal or financial reasons. Any liability your business incurs is your personal legal liability as well. This could mean financial disaster.
Why You Need a Lawyer, Not a Self-Service Website
There are numerous reasons why you should consult a lawyer when setting up your business, even if you are set on having a sole proprietorship.
Personalization: a lawyer will get to know you and your business’s needs. You may decide, with a lawyer there to explain your options and help your file the paperwork, that you want to incorporate as a one-person corporation. A fill-in-the-blank form cannot do that for you.
Flexibility: The law is changing all the time. A real-life lawyer will keep abreast of developments. If at some point you decide to change your business documents, a lawyer can do this much more easily for you than a legal form website.
Warranty: The cost of a lawyer includes his or her warranty, legal education, and bar membership. In contrast, Legal Zoom disavows all responsibility for documents produced through their software.
Networking: Having a familiar lawyer in your contacts list is good preparation for the inevitable bumps in the road that come with owning a business.
Call Us Today to Get Started
If you are ready to start your small business, call our office today to discuss how best to bring your dream to life.