The first thing Aileen and I did when we decided to start this business was begin making lists in our beloved notebooks. There were so many things to do, some things we felt comfortable with, but most of the tasks were entirely new to us. At the very top of the unknown list was the legal documentation for the business. We wanted to be exceedingly careful to do everything correctly, but we were also working off of a tight budget.
We put in a small amount of seed capital and had A LOT of things to accomplish with those funds. We’re both SAHMs and we manage our family budgets, so we’re used to making an effort to get the best value for our money. When it came time to begin the legal rigamarole of putting this business together, we started with the obvious budget option, Legal Zoom. Tons of people use it, the reviews are good and the price seemed to be affordable.
Aileen and I scheduled a call with one another when we knew our houses would be quiet and we would have plenty of time to work. We nervously, but confidently, started the process. Ok, first question. What kind of business entity do you want to form? Uhhhh. Hmmm. Not sure. Better read all of the descriptions. Looks like an LLC is the way to go. We click that box and move on, slightly less confident. With each additional question, the pit in my stomach started to grow. Every question seemed important and impactful to our future business and neither of us really knew the right answer.
Our call lasted for about 15 minutes before we threw in the towel and agreed to hire an actual lawyer. Actually, Aileen lasted about 2 minutes before she came to the clear conclusion that we needed professional help. But where to find help on our budget? I called several local attorneys and the numbers brought tears to my eyes. Then we came across Counsel for Creators, a law firm in Los Angeles that specializes in legal services for creatives. Aileen and I were able to schedule a phone interview with one of the partners for a few days later and we were immediately relieved. Jon answered every one of our questions and their office worked with us to get all of our legal services handled for a very reasonable price.
We knew exactly how much our legal fees would be, how long the process would take and what we could expect each step of the way. Partners Jon Tobin and Chuong Bui are always accessible by phone. They explained everything in lay terms and they never once made us feel stupid for any of our undoubtedly stupid questions. They offer tons of resources on their website and their office manager, Nate, is attentive and prompt in all correspondence.
We’ve since subscribed to their monthly Creator’s Legal Program which gives us unlimited phone calls, unlimited document reviews, more legal resources and a discount on all other legal fees, and we couldn’t be happier. I’m gushing a bit here, but we cannot recommend their service highly enough. It’s been a massive relief to have someone who is nice to work with on what is probably the most boring, yet consequential part of this journey. If you’re thinking of starting a new venture, give them a call!