Many of the entrepreneurs do not know the legal side of business. (Photo: iStock)
When we think about starting a new business, we have in mind many aspects that we consider necessary to start from scratch. Among them, the commercial objective, the initial investment, the market we are going to focus on, the financial projections, the people who will be involved, the logistics, the supply or value chain (whether they are products or services), the form of collection, etc.
Infinity of commercial aspects that, without a doubt, are essential to start a business; however, dare I say that we rarely associate law with entrepreneurship and even less do we consider the legal aspect as one of the essentials.
Although at first glance, it seems that Law and Entrepreneurship are words and concepts that are not related, the reality is that academic and professional paradigms have created weak barriers that we have to begin to break down. Law graduates have a lot to contribute to the world of entrepreneurs, as well as entrepreneurs and they have many lessons to teach us.
Precisely as a consequence of the above, is that a couple of years ago we undertook the task of creating a law clinic in which the students had the opportunity to give legal advice, and first hand, to entrepreneurs of Tec, to people who have an interest in starting a business or a social project and who, in addition, were already taking the first steps to undertake it.
When we met with these people, it was no surprise to realize that they already had a perfectly prepared business plan, with all the elements that I mentioned at the beginning, carefully calculated and, practically, with the foot in the door to start. But, when we asked them how they were doing with the legal part, around 90% answered that “they had nothing.”
And now? It is right there where we specialists in legal matters come in. Are you going to undertake, individually? Are you going to have partners? Do you already have a legal or commercial name for your project? Do you already have your trademark? Do you have a logo for your brand? Are you going to have employees? Are you going to have assets? Do you already have contracts? Do you have an establishment? What permits will you need?
We no longer sound so alien to Entrepreneurship, do we?
Derived from the – bad – uses and commercial customs, Informality prevails in Mexico and this results in not complying with the laws, rules, regulations and other applicable legal framework. This, despite having a business with enormous potential, or even already successful, can result in obstacles to continue growing, in administrative or monetary fines and even in the detection of the impossibility of the project or perhaps in a definitive closure of the business.
The foregoing is only the beginning of the relationship between Law and Entrepreneurship, since this “society” continues during the life of business and social projects, and is relevant even to close or correctly terminate commercial transactions or social activities.
For all the above (and much more), I recommend to all entrepreneurs to approach a law graduate to advise them during the development of their projects and to have them on hand for any questions or problems (they say we have experience in solving them).
Finally, I invite you to visit the Tec de Monterrey D + E clinic, currently on the Mexico City campus and on the Santa Fe Campus, where we have the beautiful opportunity to support social entrepreneurship projects, from a corporate legal perspective. (Ana María García Ceceña, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic at Campus Santa Fe and CCM)