Top 5 Reasons Why Any (Social) Impact Company Must Consider Aligning Itself With the Right Legal PartnerArticle
Legal services are required for any business to run smoothly and safely. However, if you want to have a positive impact on the world, finding a legal professional who shares your values is all the more important. While you need the appropriate measures to be taken for protection and compliance, you want to prevent any legal strategy from interfering with your mission.
Why does any (social) impact company need the appropriate legal services?
Companies are often unaware of certain risks they are encountering, until it is too late. Corporate and commercial legal services cover every aspect of doing business. For impact companies, this includes anything related to your triple bottom line. From employment to corporate governance issues, to sustainability, to taxes and finances, to privacy matters, and so on. For your impact company to have real and lasting impact, your values and mission need to resonate throughout your business.
Traditionally seen merely as protector, a suitable legal professional will be able to work as an enabler for your impact company. An ethical legal professional will be able to see sustainability, ethics, and governance issues within the bigger picture of your company’s mission, and directly contribute to strategy and development.
What are the top 5 reasons an impact company should find the right legal partner?
- Incorporation: Among the very first decisions to be made by founders is that of the legal form to organize the business. In an increasing number of jurisdictions, legal forms are available for social enterprises or similar organizations. Yet, whether these are the best fit for your particular business model and mission will depend on numerous factors. To maximize your impact, you need to choose a legal form that will allow you to do so.
- Human Capital: Investing in human capital is key for growth. This includes everything from recruitment and retention to your workforce’s demographics and their health and safety. Caring for your employees beyond what is legally required of you will help you attract and retain talent and motivate them to work towards your company’s mission.
- Sustainability: Legal professionals who understand sustainability are much better equipped to help your business to stay environmentally friendly. They are able to advance sustainability throughout your operations and any contract you enter into. In turn, this will create long-term value for your business.
- Technology and Privacy: Our increasingly digital world also poses a lot of threats to personal data and security. By employing a data protection strategy within your impact company from day one, you lay a solid foundation for data security in the future. Customers or clients often entrust you with their personal details, and an impactful, ethical business can only call itself such if it has a customer-centric data protection strategy.
- Reputation: The right legal professional is able to help you integrate your impact mission throughout your company. This means that values and mission are no longer mere words, but actual commitments you are bound by. As a result, this builds trust between your business and its stakeholders. Your customers or clients will clearly see what your business is about. Your enhanced reputation will be a competitive advantage in a market full of greenwashing and CSR-washing.
Overall, these points form the basics to take into consideration when deciding whose legal services to hire. For any impact company, a legal professional who shares its values and understands the mission is vital for business development. Conflicting values may lead to environmental, social, or governance issues, which in turn may damage your reputation or viability and profitability.