"It is important to keep aside an expense item for legal advice", Fernando Martín
25 de March de 2019
25 de March de 2019
Fernando Martín, a partner at MGO Firm, a legal and financial consultancy for entrepreneurs and investment funds, took part in a session of the Legal Helpdesk at the EAE Lab business incubator. With offices in Madrid and Mexico, the firm offers consultancy services to startups and venture capitalists. In addition, it helps companies with their internationalization process, from entrepreneurship ventures to SMEs and large organizations.
According to Fernando, the aim of the Legal Helpdesk session was to "identify the legal matters that you have to take into account when starting up your business in Spain from a practical point of view" and analyse the "relevant legal aspects when launching an entrepreneurial venture". At MGO Firm, they work with an entrepreneurial mindset and also understand the needs of companies. "We know both sides of the coin", he explained.
Fernando Martín gave the entrepreneurs of the EAE Lab incubator an overview of the Spanish legal framework and the importance of keeping aside an expense item in business projects for legal advice. "Find a lawyer who helps you to believe in yourselves and in your project". Seeing legal advice in this way saves costs in the long run and should be considered an investment rather than an expense. In terms of expenses, the law graduate explained that good advice need not be expensive. The important thing is that the firm gets involved in the entrepreneurial initiatives based on direct communication with their client.
With respect to choosing the legal structure of the business, the speaker analysed the pros and cons of limited companies, looking at what they consist of and the capital and bylaws required for their incorporation, as well as the main differences from other models, such as public limited companies and self-employment. He then went on to list the main fiscal aspects of companies, the most common taxes, deductible expenses and other formalities such as bookkeeping and accounting. Whenever we analyse these matters, it is important to have a medium- and long-term perspective, planning the most suitable way to adapt to new circumstances that may arise along the way right from the start, such as the participation of new investors or new strategic partners.
In view of the differences between the Spanish model and other national models in Mexico, Croatia and Colombia, the expert emphasized the complexity of employment relations in Spain, explaining what is involved in the Workers' Statute and the sector and business collective bargaining agreements. In this respect, he advised the EAE Lab entrepreneurs to take into account contracting costs (an average cost of 30% on top of the additional salary agreed with the worker) and the expenses involved in dismissals and compensation. On this point, he once again reiterated the importance of having a good advisor on legal and bureaucratic matters. "Service providers have to change our mindset when it comes to advising entrepreneurs on how to design their business project, giving clients guidance and alternatives, offering preventive rather than reactive advice, which is traditional how things worked. Rather than thinking "I have a problem so I'll go to the lawyer", we should think "I'll go to the lawyer so that I don't have any problems".
Once the project is up and running, we have to pay attention to aspects such as intellectual and industrial property (registering trademarks and domains, contractual and intellectual protection) and obligatory compliance with occupational risk prevention and personal data protection regulations.
To bring the session to a close, they discussed the particular migratory features of the projects currently at the incubation phase at the EAE Lab launchpad. The international profile of the entrepreneurs requires specific circumstances in each case, depending on their permits (residency, employment), nationality, freedom of movement, the Entrepreneurship Act 14/2013, etc. These particular features have to be examined on an individual basis. "We have to look very closely at each entrepreneur's business model because it is the only way to know their project in depth to advise them in a preventive capacity about any present and future contingencies that they may have to face".