Congratulations! Join the other geniuses who didn't take professional advice

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Clinton, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,339 1,604
    As those who follow my posts know, I have very little sympathy for business owners who:

    - didn't take professional advice when starting a limited company;
    - didn't take professional advice when buying / selling a business;
    - didn't read the contract properly before signing (especially with leases and subscription services).

    It's amazing how such people can be allowed to breathe far less run businesses! I'm going to use this thread as a "Join The Other Geniuses" bookmark and simply link to this when the occasion arises (which seems to happen several times a day!)

    So here's a fun thread just for them :) :)

    To all you newbies (and some oldies) who've been sent to this thread, some advice:

    1. There are times when you need to hire a professional. Yes, it costs money. But as you're probably discovering, you did something on the cheap and it's going to cost you more money now that you're knee deep in the brown stuff.

    2. Accept that you've screwed up, apply some common sense at least now, recognise that you're not as smart as you thought you were, and go pay for expert assistance (instead of compounding your mistake by seeking free advice in these forums)!

    3. Repent and don't make the same mistake in future.

    Starting a company:

    Yes, it's easy to open a new limited company, but there's tons to know before you start. Like:
    - the difference between a director and shareholder;
    - why a 50-50 split of shares is a bad idea;
    - why you should always draw up a shareholders' agreement right at the start;
    - what your responsibilities are as a director;
    - what records you need to keep and how you need to plan for tax;
    - lots more.

    Don't inform yourself of all these important matters and you're bound to run into problems at some point. It's only a matter of time!

    Buying or selling a business

    It's a lot, lot more complicated than you think.

    Even if you're paying £1 to buy a business, go pay a few grand for proper legal advice.

    And selling a business is not risk free, you still need to hire an expert.

    Whichever side of the transaction you're on, get a good corporate lawyer to draw up the contract! Relying on a free template you downloaded ...is at the dumb end of cheap.

    Signing a contract

    Businesses don't have the same protections as consumers. If you enter into a business contract the law assumes (probably incorrectly) that you're a smart, savvy, clued up, business minded person and that you fully understand the contract, the risks, your responsibilities.

    Whether it's a lease or any other contract you should not be signing it without reading every single word and having an adult explain it to you. Yes, it's easy to click the "Accept" button. Duh! That's why the Accept button is so big, it's for people like you!

    There is no cooling off period, there is no "I didn't read it properly" excuse. You signed, you're liable. Be grown up about it and accept you were naive/stupid/careless/ignorant (take your pick) to sign without understanding. Don't squeal like a kid that life is not fair.


    Don't Repeat

    I say this, but I have every confidence most of you will go and do exactly the same thing again because you're too arrogant to appreciate just how little you know and/or you're too tight to pay for proper advice. :)

    But I live in hope that at least a few of you will go away a little bit smarter. Good luck.
     
    Posted: Sep 13, 2019 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #1
  2. MikeJ

    MikeJ UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,659 1,620
    We sold our company in May. Our legal fees were almost £200k. The advice we got paid for itself in the second meeting.
     
    Posted: Sep 16, 2019 By: MikeJ Member since: Jan 15, 2008
    #2
  3. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,378 1,009
    Should be pinned!

    And probably in the start up section
     
    Posted: Sep 17, 2019 at 7:12 AM By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #3
  4. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,339 1,604
    Oh, yes, I forgot. To all those newbies reading my original post, please consider this as part of that post:

    Don't come back to say that you are going to be getting professional advice and that you just wanted to see what we said first.

    Because that's invariably what people come back to say! And we know you aren't, that you're trying to do it on the cheap.

    If you are indeed getting professional advice that should be your first port of call, not this one.
     
    Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 6:47 PM By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #4
  5. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,370 252
    Just a thought Clinton.

    Isn't the best way to stop this forum functioning, to persuade, suggest, instruct visitors not to ask questions?

    For every misguided thread starter there are surely dozens more folk, dropping in, reading, following and learning from others mistakes.
     
    Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 9:29 PM By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #5
  6. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,131 246
    That is the end goal.
     
    Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 10:07 PM By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #6
  7. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,339 1,604
    We love questions. I answer a lot of them.

    There are some questions that, whether the poster knows it or not, are best taken to experts, not forums.

    We do the poster a disservice by answering those.
     
    Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 10:35 PM By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,370 252
    I get your point, i'm just not sure that advice from a professional is always the better starting place, that the opinions and experiences of wiser folk on here are a great help, if only to focus the conversation when sitting in front of a £300 per hour solicitor. ;)

    Rather like going to the doctors. I may not know exactly what's wrong with me but having scoured the forums I pretty much know what the options are and more importantly have a greater understanding of the diagnosis.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 12:56 AM By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #8
  9. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,339 1,604
    They aren't going to be speaking with your £300 ph solicitor. Or any solicitor. That's the problem. They are cheapskates, or they don't realise that the matter is a lot more complicated than they think.

    But you can feel free to answer their questions for them! Knock yourself out.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 7:54 AM By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #9
  10. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,378 1,009
    The problem, which seems particularly prevalent on this forum at the moment, is that the majority of those looking for ‘advice’ don’t actually want advice, they want to heAr what they want to hear. If just one out of 50 responses hints at what they want to hear, that’s the ‘advice’ they will follow.

    Mostly they will ignore tough love. Sometimes they will attack the person giving it without any insight whatsoever

    In theory at least, paid for advice will focus the mind.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 8:40 AM By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #10
  11. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,776 9,028
    "Please help, I've just signed a 10 year lease, paid 100K for a business and now discovered the seller was lying. Can I get my money back. I can't afford a solicitor".

    They will get 99 people saying no and 1 saying yes. Guess which one they respond to?
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 8:52 AM By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #11
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  12. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Which is exactly what con artists go for!

    They find a sucker who's getting advice he doesn't want to hear. They post publicly the answer that he does want to hear. They then contact him by PM to explain how they can help him.

    The sucker then ends up losing a lot more than £300.

    I've run large forums, I know how these scam artists work.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 9:04 AM By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #12
  13. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,378 1,009
    Yip. Classic scammer low-hanging fruit.

    The rogues in our industry rely entirely of giving an illusion of easy & cheap - and wannabe restaurant owners lap it up.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 9:17 AM By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #13
  14. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,544 2,132
    Is not the purpose of the forum to assist business people who have raised questions, with a wide selection of possible answers from both experienced and less experienced posters

    In a perfect world, There would still be college evening classes on starting up a business explaining the various things you need to understand, giving a good grounding,

    Its easy to say talk to a accountant or solicitor, but what do they really know about small business apart from their own limited area, some are full of first class knowledge others just interested in how much they can get from you, just a one person suggestion, Where as the forum can give a very broad outline of options, some answers may be crap others first class, but on the whole supply first class area's for you to learn more about, which if required you can ask a expert about for advice at cost

    Better to block someone out by not answering a post, than to condem everyone who does not follow your advice and get shirty about it

    The fantastic answers we sometimes hear on here, are those replies that say, give me a call and i will explain a outline of what can be done and how for a free 20 min call
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 9:55 AM By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #14
  15. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,370 252
    When the answer is 'you should have had a solicitor draw up the contract first', what do you expect?
    From the point of view of the casual forum reader who is trying to learn, it's great advice which is only aired after the 'numbnut' starting the thread has asked the question. Encouraging people not to post because they have messed up, are tight, should have done x,y,z will surely reduce the number of threads?

    As for not being able to afford a solicitor. Harsh reality? A mate of mine who's building company was being seriously squeezed when the main developer for the new Wembley Stadium build was slow to pay the multi tiered list of contractors, (they were near the bottom) hadn't the cash to buy a pint of milk for the office staff.o_O
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 11:04 AM By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #15
  16. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,022 268
    I get the feeling Clinton is beginning to chill and mellow these days.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 2:26 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #16
  17. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,131 246
    Still waiting for councils to pay their invoices. Says they are paid 60 days from the day they are logged in their system, not from the day they were received.

    What can you do.

    Good thing a cheap and cheery pizza only costs £1 and I have several £££s.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 2:30 PM By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #17
  18. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    5,307 1,520
    Why didn't you suggest that he speak to me?
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 2:43 PM By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #18
  19. STDFR33

    STDFR33 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,896 979
    Going to obtain professional advice is one thing. Taking action based on that professional advice is another.

    Some people feel that Dave, the mechanic down the pub knows more about tax than their accountant and more about the law than their solicitor. Usually it is because Dave's dodgy advice benefits - only in the short term though.
    It's usually not long before they realise that Dave's advice has cost them a small fortune and the professional fees are considerably more because the professional now how to sort out a big sh1t heap of a mess.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 3:12 PM By: STDFR33 Member since: Aug 7, 2016
    #19
  20. SteLacca

    SteLacca UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,430 277
    I have to say I would hope quite a lot, given that by and large the posts I reply to are in my professional field of expertise. I do, however, try to back up my replies where appropriate with legislative references, enabling anyone who wants to to check.
     
    Posted: Sep 19, 2019 at 3:26 PM By: SteLacca Member since: Jun 16, 2016
    #20