Tech Success – You focus on growth – we’ll do the rest
04 May 2016
Are you an early stage business, wondering at what stage you should seek professional advice? As I'm sure you would expect there's no correct answer to this, but what factors should trigger an early stage business to think about seeking professional advice from accountants or lawyers?
This is a question which we helped answer in collaboration with Eversheds, Rangewell and Craigie Capital at a recent co-sponsored event held at WeWork Moorgate. The aim of this event was to give start-ups and fast growing businesses access in an informal environment to a wide variety of professional advisers who can help growing businesses. We also had a fantastic reception from a whole host of other start-ups who provide services to start-ups themselves (you can see the full list on the video below).
So, what factors cause an early stage business to seek professional advice? A company might seek external advice when the issue is too technical, complicated or important to risk getting wrong, or where they simply do not have the time or resources to manage a project.
One impact of the new digital economy is that start-ups may find themselves becoming international much earlier than their equivalents 20 years ago. International issues come very high on the list of challenges that vex the businesses we talk to. The international challenge may come from how to deal with the first contract with an overseas client, exporting goods, or physical difficulties of being paid by clients located in territories with exchange control regulations or withholding tax.
It may be that the nature of the business requires employees to travel overseas frequently or the business needs to take on its first employees in a foreign territory. All of these have immigration, employment law, tax and accounting consequences that need to be dealt with.
Another trigger might be the protection and licensing of Intellectual Property. As a highly valuable part of many businesses, ensuring this is properly documented from a legal perspective is vital. In terms of vital resources, some companies will also seek advice on employment contracts, HR issues and rewarding employees, as finding and retaining talent is a major challenge to growing the business and getting this right becomes paramount.
A third trigger might be the point at which the business is looking for external funding. Some businesses will look for support in preparing or refining their business plan and others may identify this as a good time to get their house in order and ensure that everything is compliant and working effectively. Businesses might also need support in ensuring that they can offer EIS or SEIS reliefs to investors.
This is just a snapshot of some of the triggers you might come across - as I said at the beginning there's no one right answer to this and that's the reason we supported this fantastic evening with Eversheds, Rangewell and Craigie Capital and the early stage business community.
For anyone who missed the event, you can watch our highlights reel here.