Starting a business venture can be a difficult task involving many important decisions, but it is highly exciting that the business idea is taking shape with every decision ready for takeoff. However, one major decision prospective Nigerian entrepreneurs often jump is the legal aspect but this is very important.

All over the world, there are some laws that entrepreneurs must follow to ensure their businesses are legally sound right from its foundation. If these laws are not obeyed, the entrepreneur may face a serious legal challenge in future which will affect his business negatively.

One needs to make sure that all legal formalities have been put in place. To avoid severe legal and liability consequences in future, a targeted business plan should list all legal concerns that might negatively affect the business and invariably other investors. The right legal structure that will suit ones particular type of business or circumstances and ambitions should be considered.

In Nigeria, whether it is a corporate or limited company or even an enterprise, you will need to register with some government bodies, parastatals, agencies or even some professional bodies. It all depends on your business idea and hence you need to seek specialist legal advice that could cover copyright, trade marking, design registration or patenting. The summary is that all start up business owners need the legal lowdown on the little-down legal issues that often collapse new enterprises. You need a good attorney. Whether you are going alone or joint, your company is structured so that it protects your interests and fits your goals.

It is important to converse with lawyer experienced in Nigerian business formation law to help you evaluate all the options available at start up. Lawyers are not as expensive as you may be assuming and the value one gets is very significant. You should know that lawyers are regularly abreast of tax and corporate laws that keep changing all the time. These also vary significantly from one state to the other. Some metropolitan urban states like Lagos often charge more as tax. To be sure of the business beign successful, the business team should probably include a lawyer who can keep up with changes in the laws, legal and tax codes and advise as one progresses in the business. This will reduce unknown legal issues and thereby save money and negative images.

It is essential to note that not all lawyers can be an attorney. As important as business law is, the Nigerain Bar Association has two section: the Section on Business Law (SBL) and the Section on Legal Practice (SLP) to undertake its professional business.

You don’t want to take legal jump alone, and good counsel can really help you navigate the early phase of your business. The following concern every startup entrepreneur should ask their prospective counsel are:

  • Their experience in working with startups.
  • Their expertise with various startup legal issues, such as entity selection, securities law, intellectual property and labor and employment.
  • Their contacts or a working relationship with other professionals who could be of assistance – accountants, investments bankers and venture capitalists.
  • Who will be handling your file.
  • How he can distinguish your firm from others.

In conclusion, start –up must make provisions for legal expenses right from the onset to avoid legal problems later.


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