Questions Every Social Entrepreneur Must Ask
Posted: Jan 13, 2016
When setting up your social enterprise, the legal structure of your company is the most important factor to consider. As any social enterprise attorney in Los Angeles will tell you, the proper legal structure is necessary in order to meet local, state, and federal legislative requirements. When meeting with your attorney, here are a few questions you'll need to ask yourself:
What is the social purpose? What problem is your social enterprise trying to solve?
Who are the founders of the organization, and what role will they play? Will they operate as the owners, executives, or managers of the organization? What expectation do the founders have in terms of ownership?
What social impact will you have? How will you achieve the impact, and how will you measure it?
How will your organization be funded? Will you be relying on donations, grants, or subsidies? Do you have established funding, or will you need to search it out? Do you have start-up funding? If not, where will you get it from?
What is your business plan? What is the plan for your business to address whatever social issues you are trying to solve?
Who are the stakeholders? This includes investors, partners, and shareholders.
Who will your organization benefit? This includes beneficiaries and customers.
What will the management structure be? Who will be in the positions of authority in your company, and who will manage/organize your operations?
Do you have a specific business entity in mind? Does it matter if you are a non-profit company, a benefit corporation, a co-op, etc.?
What are your goals? What are your personal goals for the company? How do you define "financial success" for your social enterprise?
How long will the company exist? Do you have a specific timeframe for the company's operations, or is it intended to continue operations indefinitely? If you have a timeframe in mind, do you have an exit strategy in place--not only for yourself, but for your investors?
All of these questions will need to be answered satisfactorily in order to set up your social enterprise's legal structure. You'll work with the social enterprise attorney in Los Angeles to ensure that your company is properly established and structured according to all legislations. Only once the legal structure is in place can you start your operations to make a change in your city, state, or country.
Sustainable Law Group is certified B Corp attorney serving profit, non-profit and social enterprises with legal support in West LA, South Bay and El Segundo in Los Angeles.