How We Are Different
For Business Owners

You have already seen from our welcome that we are different. We speak differently than most lawyers, we talk more like you than most of our colleagues.  That’s because we are like you --- first and foremost, we are entrepreneurs, business owners just like you who understand what it takes to start a business, grow a business, and turn that business into a venture that leaves a positive impact on the world.

When we started Sage Legal, LLC, it was because we wanted to be different. We wanted to do things differently. And we are.

Our relationships with our clients go beyond preparing documents. We get to know you and your dreams, desires, and goals. Your values, your interests, what you would do with an abundance of your most valuable non-renewable resources - time and energy. What you want to leave to and do for the world. And knowing those things are an essential ingredient in how we serve you.

Explaining to you how we’re different (in ways you can’t see on the surface) requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a business lawyer is like.  If you’ve worked with a lawyer to prepare business entity formation or incorporation documents for you in the past, this may sound familiar.

During that traditional experience, you go in and meet with a lawyer who might make things seem complicated and confusing.  You’ll have a good idea that the lawyer is smart and seems to know what he or she is doing, so you’ll nod and answer questions, as if you understand everything.  Because you want to do the right thing for your business, you’ll have the lawyer prepare incorporation documents for you and you’ll sign the documents, feeling relieved that you’ve got that taken care of.

But, then what?

Maybe you will get a fancy Corporate Record Binder to take home with you.  Maybe. (I’ve seen plenty of lawyers who don’t even do that or suggest you get one)  You’ll take your fancy planning binder home, stick it on a shelf or in a drawer, mark incorporate business off on your checklist as DONE and never think about it again. Until something happens, that is.

You might remember your business lawyer said something about agreements (with clients, vendors, lenders, partners) but it didn’t go beyond conversation and you realize you still have open-ended incomplete agreements.  Maybe you have even asked your lawyer for help, but you call your lawyer’s office, get a voicemail, leave a message and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you’ll have gotten busy with other things and never get around to finishing that agreement.

Thank You

Thank you so much for your interest - I know you have a lot of options when it comes to legal planning. Sage Legal, LLC has quickly become a trusted partner within the Exeter community and surrounding areas. Odds are, if you’ve made it this far, you’re here for a reason!  We look forward to talking with you to determine if we are a fit for each other. Schedule today!

And it’s the same way for all those other things you know you’ve got to get handled –trademarks/copyrights, insurance, maybe even financial systems and tax strategy.

Perhaps you do connect with your lawyer by phone, ask a few questions and then a few weeks later, you’ll get a bill in the mail for $87.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You’ll make a mental note– don’t call lawyer ever again unless absolutely necessary.

Years go by and you don’t talk to your lawyer.  What you don’t realize is that you not only never finalized your agreements, but your lawyer never customized your operating agreement or bylaws.  You have not been having annual meetings or documenting annual meeting minutes.

Business will go on and you’ll know you’ve got these things hanging out, incomplete, but you are way too busy to think about it. It puts a slight drag on your creativity to know they are out there, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you’ll get a bill in the mail two weeks later.

Plus, your lawyer doesn’t seem to be able to move things forward either and you are simply too busy to project manage anything that does not appear to contribute directly to the bottom line.

You’ll hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you’d surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that impacted you, so you don’t worry about it.  And, you’d have to dig through boxes to find your incorporation documents so you can remember your lawyer’s name and find her contact information.  Who has time for that?

It’s not until something happens (an employee lawsuit, a client complaint, a vendor dispute, a big tax bill or an audit, or the need/desire to borrow money, raise capital or your own incapacity or death) that you (or your loved ones) realize with a sinking feeling, your corporate documents are incomplete and you are not able to respond properly or easily to the situation.

You are at a loss.  And you can see clearly that you’ve lost time by not having this all taken care of and, boy, are things a mess - and you an emotional mess.  What you may not know is that you’ve been losing money all the way along. Or, at the very least keeping your business from generating anywhere close to the profits it can.

Do you feel stressed out yet from reading this? I sure do!

You see, having your business legal affairs in order and complete is as high priority as having your marketing plan and business model in place.  It’s one of the little known secrets to the most successful companies – they were set up right and dedicated the resources to ensure their legal foundation was well maintained.

It’s no mistake that the IRS audits unincorporated sole proprietors 5-7 times more often than it does incorporated business entities … the IRS knows if you do not have your business set up right, you are probably not doing your taxes right.  And we know that you are probably also not hiring and firing right, have not enough (or too much) insurance, and that it’s probably not the right type. You may be paying more for insurance than you need to as well, if you have it.

All of this leads to your business being built on a house of cards, one crisis away from closing your doors.

How do I know all this?

Because not too long ago, my own business had deficiencies in how it was set up, too, and once I saw how my business changed after I took care of the foundations, I swore I would never let this happen to one of my clients on my watch.

Unfortunately, what I discovered is that many clients think getting the incorporation documents filed is all they need to protect themselves from liability and focus on running their business.  And sadly, most lawyers who work with clients seeking incorporation advice simply prepare the documents, have them signed, and send the clients on their way. Heck, you could get your business entity incorporated a lot less expensively by using a document drafting service if that’s all you are going to have taken care of by your lawyer.

Your business lawyer should be a counselor, not just a document preparer.

Our Firm Helps You Prepare the Business Growth and Success You Truly Want                              

What makes our firm different is that we were built with the needs of growing businesses in mind. But we also go a step further than most lawyers out there - the success of your business goes beyond just documenting agreements, having the right entity in place, and keeping your bank accounts separate and books up to date. It’s about your mindset. Your efficiency. How you show up and feel each day you do the work you do. We can and do help our clients with far more than the nitty gritty legal stuff.

But the legal stuff is important. It can’t be ignored with the hope you’ll never need to worry about it because you’re not a hard nosed business person. And just because you can’t afford or don’t need full-time in-house General Counsel, doesn’t mean you don’t need counsel.

We are that counsel.

We understand you are BUSY, you are growing, you are planning for a business of prosperity, and you value ease, convenience and efficiency..

That is our focus as well. We’ve developed unique, ongoing strategic support to give you access to your personal lawyer for your family and your business, as was previously only available to the likes of the owners and executives at Google, Facebook, and Zappos so you can have the guidance you need to build a business of meaning, significance, and serious profitability.

We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, we’ve thrown out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick question. Everything we do for our ongoing clients is billed on a flat-fee, monthly basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises.

We do our best to get back to you on those “little questions” as quickly as possible. And, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your personal lawyer, you can do that online and see when we are both available for the amount of time you need.

Here’s the way we look at it, one day you will need a lawyer. I don’t know why and I don’t know when, but when you do, and when you are enrolled in one of our monthly membership programs, you will be grateful you can call on us and we’ll be here to advise you or get you out of a jam.

Lastly, we don’t just take care of your business now – we make sure it will be a valuable asset that continues to create wealth for your family after you are gone.  This is what true legacy is all about.

Many business lawyers overlook this most important of issues, important to your family at least.

We look forward to seeing you and caring for your business soon!

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