New Experience #18: Business Law for Beginners

It’s not easy to be an adult beginner. I always admired those who came to the dojo in their 30’s and beyond and put on that pristine white belt that announces to the world that you are a clean slate. We humans start many things as children, teens, and young adults in our twenties, but the older we get, the more difficult it seems to be to step into a situation where we know little or nothing. It is difficult to, as they say, first empty your cup. Learning about starting and running a business is no different. It feels like there is so much to take in and very little of it feels familiar.

Fortunately, there are a lot of good people who do know about starting and running businesses and are willing to help. One of the reasons we went to Boulder last week was to meet with one of those people. I had reached out to an attorney friend of my brother’s, who in turn referred me to a friend of hers who works for a Boulder-based law firm. We scheduled a consultation and last Monday, Maureen and I sat down to meet with her. This counts as a new experience, because it was my first time consulting professionally with a lawyer. It was a very positive experience. She confirmed that we were on the right track with our processes, advised us as to the next steps, and identified the steps that should be professionally done (i.e. by a lawyer) to best protect our interests. And she was excited about our project!

I got a second dose of this same experience later in the week, as it was “law day” in my SBDC (Small Business Development Center) course. A local Pueblo attorney came to class to speak with us about business entity options (LLC, S-Corp, etc.) and processes to prevent “piercing the corporate veil,” that is, mixing personal and business finances or otherwise failing to behave as if the business is a separate entity. His advice was quite consistent with that we received earlier in the week. It was also helpful for me to hear it again, as it seems that it often takes a few repetitions to learn something new!

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