In my last post I talked about my reluctance to recommend do-it-yourself solutions when it comes to business contracts, Wills and other documents.  I know it is self-serving but I have just seen do-it-yourself solutions come back to haunt business people too many times to count.  If you are a business person you can pay now or pay later.  The paying later is the part you are likely to enjoy less.

Now I have come back to this issue because I saw two great blog posts directly on point.

New York business lawyer Imke Ratschko found the perfect example of a penny saved, pound foolish.  Imke pointed to an Entrepreneur article which says that the way you need to protect yourself is with a strong contract.  Good advice.  The crazy part is that the author says you don’t need to bring a lawyer in unless it is complex and worth millions.  Now I don’t know about you but most small businesses cannot necessarily afford to lose several thousand dollars, let alone over a million.

Compare this advice with what I found on Mindpetals

"There is no substitute for a competent, motivated representation . . . Your lawyer can better represent your interests if you have a rudimentary understanding of the laws, not just in an abstract, “I read the contract” kind of way, but in a practical, applied fashion. Knowing how to ask the right questions and request the right services can make the difference between mere success and real triumph."      

With every business contract, I recommend you at least talk to a business lawyer first to see how much it would cost to draft or review the contract.  You actually may be surprised (in a good way) at the cost.  Then you can make a cost benefit analysis.  It is helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of the laws but unless you are in the business of writing contracts I strongly suggest you leave that part to the business lawyer.