How Much are Startup Legal Costs for a New Business

Written by Wesley Henderson

January 19, 2021

The legal costs to start a business vary greatly. For even the most basic single-member LLC and risk manamagemt documents, a business owners should budget about $5,000. Legal expenses depend not only on the type of business, but also the size, capital investment, number of owners, and various other factors. Startup companies should use a lawyer, but it is certainly not necessary. As a matter of practice, lawyers are adept at preparing documents, seeing around corners, and other essentials necessary to operate a business. Moreover, it’s helpful to establish a relationship with a lawyer so business owners know who to call when problems arise down the road. But, the fact remains, many companies do not “need” to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees from outset. All businesses do need, however, a sound legal gameplan. Find yours with Drafted Legals Templates Set.  

Some companies don’t need to spend thousands on startup costs, but it’s important that those companies still have a good resource for information to avoid costly mistakes. Setting up an LLC, client agreements, licenses, and intellectual property, to name some examples, require some thought. While these may seem like complicated terms, and sometimes they are, but at a basic level, it’s simple stuff. 

Let’s take a freelancer, for example. He or she will probably need to set up an LLC to provide liability protection and secure the proper tax footing. Contracts with customers, licensing agreements, and trademarks will also be in play. If the business grows, the owner might need employment agreements and non-competes. There are only a handful of must-dos right out of the gate for businesses. We recommend that you start your business with the right fundamentals to get on the right track early because it’s far better to get it right the first time. That said, as long as you understand your business and get the basic setup aspects in place, you can always move on to hiring an attorney as your business grows.  

We get it. I’m a lawyer, but I also own my firm, another business, and run a charity. Bootstrapping a business isn’t easy. With many businesses, it’s certainly more important to put money into marketing and product development early on. That’s why we created Drafted Legal! To try to empower business owners with something better than the generic templates that are out there at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. 

Ultimately, for a straightforward consulting or “widget” business, the legal side isn’t too complicated. Hiring a lawyer or using a product like Drafted Legal each has advantages. New businesses should budget at least $5,000 to hire a lawyer to handle all of your business structure and legal documents. It can be quite time consuming for a lawyer to customize documents to your particular industry and business. This is why we created the Startup, Legally package. For certain industries, we are able to hand you templates customized to your industry (but not your business) and package it with an 80% discount compared to hiring an attorney. Contact us today to see if Startup, Legally is right for you.

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