In business, desired goals are things like:
Launch a successful new product
Expand into a different city
Buy a compatible company and integrate it into the existing business
Invest to double profits.
When most entrepreneurs engage in strategic planning, they count among their available resources their cash and access to capital, physical assets, employees and independent contractor, suppliers, even their existing customer base. But the law is a resource that can be harnessed as well. Successful entrepreneurs use the law to their strategic advantage, and to avoid potential problems that may arise during implementation of a strategy. There are two areas of law that entrepreneurs should focus on: Protecting ideas and managing relationships.
Certain ideas can be protected by the law, such as inventions, brands, and content. When properly registered with the appropriate government agencies, these ideas become part of a company’s arsenal of assets. Then these assets can be monetized by effective relationships with other companies and with customers. In fact, nearly all the value in a company is stored in its protected ideas and realized through its relationships. A company’s people are more valuable if they are engaged effectively according to sound ideas of personnel management. Laws help define which ideas have a stored of value and which relationships are helpful to a company. Strategic law brings legal considerations into the planning process.
Applying the law to the example goals from above, a company should:
Judiciously use trade secret and patent law to protect the ideas;
Consider common legal structures for the management of the expansion team;
Draft contracts that protect the existing business and evaluate options for the resulting corporate structure;
The relationship with investors and lenders is governed by legal principles and best practices.
Successful entrepreneurs utilize all available resources to achieve their goals. While it’s common to complain about laws and regulations as obstacles, you will be more successful if you view the law as a potential resource as well.