The U.K. entrepreneurship landscape has changed hugely over the thirty-odd years of this writer’s working life.
Many (of my generation) had the advantages (Discuss?!) of a solid grounding in (an) established business(es) – with developed ways of working (and time-tested contractual documentation).
We started ‘working for ourselves’ later in life – founding businesses that are reasonably similar to that we have known our entire working lives – and – allowing us to ‘liberate’ copies of the often used (and hence familiar) ‘prior art’ for use in our businesses.
However – Latterly. this firm has with ever-increasing frequency been approached by surprisingly young entrepreneurs – seemingly “fired up by the spirit of Silicon Valley” to launch business ventures – who habitually want a full set of commercial / business trading documentation, they want it (ideally) yesterday (but will settle for now!), and their envisaged/ideal budget is (something close to) nil!
We usually have to explain that legally binding English law agreements (‘contracts’) can be formed as simply as by way of ‘digital’ spit on a handshake – but it would be wise for them to try and write their business’ proposal in a letter or a contract form (containing all the commercial terms that they can think off) and then ensure that the letter of contract form is ‘counter-signed’ by their customer.
If they feel they need ‘small print’ trading terms – then they should find some ‘prior art’ being used by similar businesses – which they should ‘cut and paste’.
In due course – once the business is creating revenue then they should think about a budget for a full legal review and an amend / update trading terms process.
Entrepreneurs need to realise that the issues are a ‘chicken and egg’ situation – Both being improved and augmented over time – as part of a continuous improvement programme – but the important thing is to start trading with ‘something’ – so at least the business model can gain some traction.
We keep querying whether one alternative option might be for an entrepreneur to go to an “AI Engine” and simply ask for the documentation that they believe they need.
This afternoon we opened “Bard” = Google’s A.I. “experiment” – and – provided the input:-
“Draft a consultancy agreement.“
It received the response:-
“I’m not programmed to assist with that.“
We suspect that Google’s “Bard” may be deliberately limited so that it does not provide legal advice and assistance – lest it risk doing so in jurisdictions where there are more restrictions upon doing so than exists in the U.K.
(As an aside – if any readers come across A.I. tools which genuinely do appear to assist with broad commercial legal advice and assistance – we would be interested in being guided to the same).
However, as some potential help for entrepreneurs / their business ventures – You ‘may’ be able to find some documents to assist you from at:-
https://app.genieai.co > [N.B. This post should NOT be considered a recommendation!]
We’re not at all sure what A.I. they claim to have, and we have concerns upon their behalf that they seem to be at risk of breach of copyright issues = We believe we know the base source of their documentation.
Further, while the resource is currently ‘free’ (while in its development mode) – it is clear that the venture does want to start sharing for the resource in due course.
Please let me know your thoughts upon the relevant website – This writer is interested as to how easy/useful (or otherwise) lay business people find it.
Wishing you all the very best with your new business ventures = Please don’t hesitate to let me know when you might be in a position to (say) “invest” in an hour’s professional time from a thirty-year-plus corporate lawyer – It may seem a lot of money, but it’s extreme value for that money!
Please feel free to revert to the writer – If you would like to discuss our input (say on like aspects / these issues) in your businesses.
With Kind Regards and My Very Best Wishes
Founding Principal – and – Business Law Solicitor
+44 (0) 20 8780 3319 : London D.D. Landline Tel.
www.EquitableLaw.com – Solicitors For Business