Give Your Business a Fighting Chance

By: Nicolene Schoeman-Louw

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Jane is a 24-year-old entrepreneur who strives to take her jewelry design business to the next level. She was advised to join an incubator, which would enable her to move her business out of her home. At the incubator, she has access to many valuable facilities, including mentoring and service providers such as financial planners, accountants, and attorneys who all give their time for free.

Her business explodes and suddenly she is booking meetings with large corporates wanting to buy some of her designs. She cannot reach any of the advisors on such short notice and decides to download a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) template from the internet, which she completes herself.

Upon her arrival at the meeting, the client refuses to sign the NDA and convinces Jane that she need not worry about the protection of her designs. They proceed with the meeting and months go by where she does not hear from them. One day she sees her designs in their store windows.

The fact is, that for too long legal services have been out of reach for many SMEs and start-ups, which has resulted in many going on without these essential services that result in dire long-term consequences. Jane’s downloaded NDA template is a perfect example of an unreliable source and lack of guidance. Often documents are obtained, but they are completed incorrectly and are therefore useless.

Acquiring legal services and advice does not have to be a daunting and costly exercise for a small business or entrepreneur. A legal firm based in Cape Town, has developed an online portal that makes legal advice readily available to the business person. If Jane had access to sound legal counsel, she would have been advised to:

  1. Draft a legally compliant NDA with the help of a professional
  2. Have the NDA signed before sharing any information and if the client refuses, don’t share any information
  3. If the client wants to alter the NDA in any way, get advice from an attorney
  4. After the agreement has been signed, share strategically – enough to facilitate buying whilst protecting your ideas, etc.

This ensures that the user will be able to access a custom-made legal document or agreement at any time, from any location.  All the documents on offer have been hand crafted by our team of experts who focus on serving the needs of entrepreneurs, which means the user enjoys all the benefits of a professionally constructed legal document or agreement without the expensive price tag. With the easy instructions and online guidance, there is no risk of incorrectly completing the document.

NicoleneNicolene Schoeman-Louw founded the firm in 2007 at the age of 24 and is now the Managing Director of Schoeman Law Inc.

An admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, she is also a conveyancer, notary public, and mediator with a passion for entrepreneurs and helping them reach their most ambitious goals. She writes regularly for various online publications such as Spice4Life as well as other mainstream publications such as The Entrepreneur Magazine and Personal Finance Magazine. She has a regular slot on SAfm’s The Law Report with Karen Key and RSG’s Rand en Sent. For more information, Schoeman Law Inc. Follow the company on twitter (@SchoemanLaw_Att) or connect via LinkedIn or Like the company on Facebook.