Gibson Law - December 2019

Give Yourself the Gift of Peace of Mind How Hiring a Lawyer Can Save You Money This Christmas DECEMBER 2019 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM (817) 769-4044 DIVING DOWN WITH GLG

Another problemwe see all the time is well- intentioned businessmen and women using perfectly acceptable DIY contracts, but not having the first clue what due diligence should be performed before the contract is signed and money changes hands. One of our more challenging recent cases, for example, involved a young entrepreneur who bought a business and the real estate it sat on, spent a lot of time and money developing it, only to find out when he went to sell it later that the guy he bought it fromwasn’t even the rightful owner! This wasn’t a case of fraud; just two guys wheeling and dealing without knowing that they needed to run a title search. A 15-minute consult with a lawyer before the deal was done could have avoided that disaster. Think of calling a lawyer like going to the doctor for a checkup: By paying for a routine visit and checking in for problems regularly, you can avoid major surgery bills down the line. A retainer will usually run you $750–$1,500, but if you don’t invest in one, the financial fallout could be much bigger. Moreover, a lot of one-off projects can be handled on a flat-fee basis. Six or seven years ago, a client who wanted to spend more than $300,000 to buy a new business came to me for a quote on a retainer. He didn’t want to pay the $750 fee I proposed, so instead he downloaded a generic form from the internet without any professional help and moved forward in buying the business. It wasn’t long before he came running back to my firm for help when the contract imploded. Instead of a small upfront fee, he ended up spending more than $175,000 on a lawsuit.

I’ve been practicing law for nearly 30 years, and in that time my team and I have cleaned up a lot of messes. Some of the worst ones I’ve seen— think hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain—have been the result of DIY legal work. Now, I certainly believe in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. That’s the currency of the American Dream, a concept my firm aims to protect above all others by helping entrepreneurs, particularly first and second- generation Americans, build successful businesses. But choosing the DIY route for your legal work is asking for trouble. Online services like LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, LawDepot, and HelloSign make it seem easy to draw up legal contracts, but the truth is that the law isn’t simple — and any website that says it is will be setting you up for failure. There are 50 states in this country, and every single state has different laws. That’s why a website that drafts one-size-fits-all legal documents in China, California, or anywhere other than the state where you live will likely be chock-full of unenforceable and, frankly, dangerous provisions and create problems for your business that wouldn’t otherwise exist. “Think of calling a lawyer like going to the doctor for a checkup: By paying for a routine visit and checking in for problems regularly, you can avoid major surgery bills down the line.”

you make your next major business decision. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, and the last thing I want is for your small business to stumble because you didn’t have the right legal advice. Whether you’re planning a merger, an acquisition, or just need help drawing up a legal contract, don’t be afraid to give me a call. I’d be happy to discuss your business’s needs free of charge. From there, we can work out the cost for the service, or, if your business is established, you can put us on retainer and call me any time with a question, no matter how small. To schedule your free consultation, visit GibsonLawGroup.com, call us at 817-769-4044, or swing by our new office, which is conveniently located in the middle of Dallas. I’d love to sit down with you personally and discuss what we can do to help your business grow.

–David Gibson

This holiday season, consider giving yourself the gift of peace of mind by calling GLG before

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