Businesses can be in many different sectors. And, they all require various legal compliances. For example, a startup is basically a new Company, and in India they have to comply with the various regulations and Acts prevailing in India. In fact, it is not just about complying with the Companies Act, 2013, they’ll also have to think about GST compliances, TDS compliances, IPR compliances on trademarks/patents/designs/etc. It is true that a sectoral company would not waste time in actually following up all the compliances themselves, but will just hire a lawyer for their legal cell inside the Company, or hire a firm to deal with the legal formalities. And, that would be very efficient. But, still, for independent small startups with not really much funding in hand, a little legal knowledge would be helpful.
Let me make you understand why it’d be helpful to actually learn what you need to comply with legally and why you need to comply. So, when I applied for my LLR (Learner's License), I was told to go to a driving school, and provide my details so that they’ll apply for the LLR on behalf of me, and also teach me how to drive and make sure I get a license before the LLR expires. I just did a little bit of homework, went to the RTO website and found that there is an online portal for the application of an LLR by yourself. Now, when this is possible, why would I pay them a fee just for them to fill up such a form? Some told me that though the website has such provisions, it is better to go through the Driving School as an agent because they may not really check the websites for the applications. Maybe, that could happen. But, I had nothing to lose, so I applied on my own for an LLR with no extra fee or hassle, and boom! I got my LLR in flat one day without any hurdle. It’s okay if it hadn’t worked. But it was great when it did work.
Now, your law firms are going to be the Driving School. They will handhold you throughout the process, and, in their best power, make sure you get your work done smoothly. But, you have to pay them their hefty fee. And, there is nothing wrong at all in paying them and getting it done if you have the money. But, when you are a small Company starting out on own, you may or may not have enough funding, and a knowledge of what compliances need to be followed, and why they need to be followed, and which part of the compliances you can manage on your own with your team with no extra cost, is going to be extremely useful. It’s best to hire lawyers, that’s what they are for, and that’s why we go to law school and study all these subjects in detail. But, I feel that a general awareness and understanding will help you in a long way by putting you in an informed position when you are dealing with your lawyer.
All of the information is available on the net, but as far as I have seen, they are widely scattered. What if there is a primer with FAQs on the basics of these compliances? I think such a primer can be effectively created by those who know the law, and also know the lay-man questions that arise in the head of a person/group of persons who want to start a Company.
Let’s say a group of my friends approach me, and tell me they have an idea for a service, and they want to start a company. They plan to go to a proper firm that will help them out with all the compliances, but even before going there, they just want a heads up on the legal process. Wouldn’t a primer for a legal perspective for a person not connected with the legal field be helpful?
I think it’s a great idea I can work on this semester with one of my subjects in this semester being Corporate Law. What do you think about it? Do you think it’d be useful for you if you were planning on starting a Company? Would you feel better if you have a primer in short, small FAQ format? Or have you come across anyone who has already compiled it, and has made it available on the web, without actually sitting for a consultation to know about it?
Putting forward an idea, and your comments are absolutely welcome!