Erik was asked on Instagram if one should hire a lawyer when starting a company. Find out what Erik recommends on this episode.
Erik J. Olson: (00:01)
When starting a company, should you hire a lawyer immediately? What is happening? I am Erik J. Olson. I got this question from Matt Kratos on Instagram. If you’re not following me over on Instagram, what are you waiting for? Go find me. I’m there @erik.j.olson that’s E R I K dot J dot O L S O N. I post on my Instagram all the time. Uh, ask looking for questions for this podcast. And when I get a question, like the question that I got from Matt, I will answer it in Instagram and I’ll answer it here and you get lots of credit and kudos around the world. So let me ask you to read the question for you verbatim. The question is, should I hire a local lawyer or use an online service to start my inc slash LLC? Great question, Matt. I appreciate it.
Erik J. Olson: (00:55)
So if you are a brand new to doing whatever it is you’re doing, uh, starting your business, freelancing, whatever my recommendation and it’s in my book, which is behind me, Million Dollar journey is right off the bat. Frankly, don’t do anything like that. Don’t hire a lawyer. Don’t incorporate, don’t get an LLC shoot. You may not even want a business name at this point. And I say all that, because the most important thing is you need to validate that someone’s going to give you money in exchange for your service. And until you validate that hiring a lawyer, hiring accountant, buying expensive software, you’re just delaying, right? So a lot of people get caught up. They’ll interview lawyers. As an example, they haven’t, they haven’t even pitched their product or their offering to anybody. They haven’t done it before. They haven’t made any money. They haven’t validated a squat.
Erik J. Olson: (01:53)
Yet. They start delaying by interviewing lawyers, interviewing accountants, uh, getting QuickBooks set up, getting credit card, uh, payments so that you can get credit card payments, uh, searching for a name, standing up their own website meant, forget all that. First and foremost, go find someone, preferably someone, you know, someone that’s in your network that needs your service and sell it to ’em then do it deliver and get paid right now, once you start that cycle. And especially if you do it a couple of times at that point, you want to get legit, right? So now start doing things like looking into and thinking about business names, domain names, maybe buy domain name, maybe set up a really, really basic website. Do not spend a lot of time on this in the beginning. You just need to go from having no website to a website. It doesn’t have to be the best one in the world and per Matt question.
Erik J. Olson: (02:51)
You need to get legit when it comes to registering your business. So that means getting a business license with the city that you operate in. And it also means either incorporating or becoming an LLC. Now, my opinion is last question was, should you use a local lawyer to do either one of those Inc or LLC or use an online service? My answer is neither do neither one of those. And here’s why you can go directly to your state government’s website and you can do it yourself right now. I’ve never done an incorporation. I’ve only done LLC. So I can’t speak on behalf of getting an inc, but getting an LLC is like crazy, ridiculously easy. Now I live in the state of Virginia and in Virginia, we have the state commission corporation, frankly. I don’t know if there’s SCCs for every single state. They probably call something different, but I can go to the Virginia SCC state corporation commission website, and I can become an LLC in literally five to 10 minutes, literally less than 10 minutes.
Erik J. Olson: (04:02)
So I can fill out a form and I provide basic information. My first name, my last name, my address. And that may be it. I think there’s like, what kind of business do you wanna stand up? Like a marketing business or like a restaurant, whatever you click submit. You put your credit card in here in Virginia. It’s a hundred dollars to stand up at LLC. You put that your credit card number in, you hit submit again, and you’re done. You can download this certificate, your LLC certificate immediately. And then you could take that certificate and you can go open a bank account or do whatever else you need to. Now that you’re an LLC. So why would you go to a local lawyer to get an LLC certificate? Why would you go to someone like, um, what are these, uh, the websites for the online websites, the legal zoom is that one, whatever they’re called.
Erik J. Olson: (04:55)
And it’s just that it’s gonna cost you more. It’s gonna take forever. I had a buddy who went to, um, what was it? I guess it was legal zoom. Is that what it’s? I don’t even know if that’s what it’s called. He went to one of those sites and it took like three months to get his LLC three months. It took me 10 minutes. So why not just go right to the source, save a bunch of money, just get done. Now I’m saying all that, assuming that you’re like most people, most of the time for most businesses, which is you have a very simple filing in particular, in my case, it’s always been, it’s just me. I’m the sole owner. It’s not complicated. So if it’s more complicated for you, if you’ve got 20 investors, I’m sure that’s gonna be a lot more complicated. In that case, you should probably go to a lawyer. But like, I think you you’re the listener. You’re probably very much like me. You have service of value. You want to start making money. It’s time to get legit. You’ve done it a couple times.
Speaker 2: (05:56)
You’ve that people were willing to pay you for this. Just go get your LLC on your own. Through the state commission corporation, state corporation commission let’s should say, or the variation of that in your state. And look, I, I’m not a lawyer, right? This is not legal advice. So if you’re really worried about it, sure, go pay someone. And if you’re not sure if it should be an LLC or an inc or an S Corp or a C Corp, the internet will tell you. Um, and if you’re really, really, really not sure, then go pay a lawyer and they’ll tell you as well. So I’m not saying that my solution is the right solution every single time. I am definitely not saying that, but I think for most people, most of the time it is do it yourself.