You and your lawyer: Part 1 – Why you need a lawyer

Posted on 01 November 2012

In a recent Q & A, Mark Bouris, Australian businessman, founder and chairman of Wizard Home Loans and currently Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management and TZ Limited, answered the question of a small start-up business owner who bemoaned the issues surrounding his cash flow, with all of the directions it needed to go, including to his solicitor, accountant and staff. In desperation, wondering how he fed all of the outstretched hands, he asked Mark Bouris for direction: “What do you think I should I do?”

Mark Bouris was not born to money and from humble beginnings climbed the ladder to success. His response to our questioning business owner clearly indicated that he did not believe it was all easy, and in his reply he said “Business is not just about the end result. It’s about the process, the successes and the failures, and most importantly, the lessons learnt”. To further summarise, assets he believed you should surround yourself with were:

  • A mentor to ask the hard questions of you and give you a shake when you need it
  • Someone you can trust and whose opinion you respect
  • A solicitor and an accountant
  • excellent professional mentors who have been there and done that and can offer direction when required
  • someone with expertise who can look at your business with a clear, unemotional head

Far too often, lawyers meet with their clients, new and established, only after a problem has arisen. Businesses have stumbled along, ignoring or attempting to solve the problem themselves which often leads to further and deeper problems which then mean, by the time they contact their lawyer, all that can be undertaken is damage control as opposed to a constructive measure to move forward with an issue in its early stages. The side effect from major issues is that the client is forced to spend a far greater amount on legal fees than they would have, had they engaged their lawyer earlier on.

The business world is now a complicated environment that is dangerous to walk alone in without outside professional guidance. Do you have the correct employment contracts which meet the standards of current workplace laws? Have you adequate terms and conditions? What about policies and procedures? Are you employing subcontractors? Are they really subcontractors or are they deemed to be employees? Is your intellectual property protected from theft?

Your lawyer is going to be honest with you. They will tell you what you need and assist you to ensure your business is protected. Whilst your lawyer understands that cash flow is difficult – remember, many lawyers are small business owners too so they share your pain - it is far easier to spend money early on to ensure your business is protected with the right contracts etc than to wait until you are forced to spend huge sums to dig yourself out of a litigation nightmare which could herald the death knell to your dream of financial independence through your own business.

We “get” business and it’s owners and have helped thousands of them navigate through their difficult times. If you would like help with any of your legal needs contact us on (02) 9890 4755 and one of our experienced team can assist you with whatever your needs to get your business on track or keep it there.

Coming soon:

Part 2 – Choosing your Lawyer.