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Episode #24: Why Contracts Are Important To Protect Your Business with Adrienne Ng of Open LLP

“The rule of thumb is whenever you are engaging with an outside third party, there needs to be a meeting of the minds to determine how that engagement is going to take and what this engagement is going to look like.”  ~ Adrienne Ng, Lawyer and partner at Open LLP


One of my lessons learned when I started my business is that I needed to have a service agreement or contract in place to protect my business.  And not just any contract… I started off googling contracts on the internet and buying templates but I didn’t truly understand all the terms and conditions, the language… I would get questions from clients, some of the wording sounded scary, it didn’t cover all the scenarios I need to have boundaries on.  It made me realize that I needed to have something created specifically for my business, in my voice.  Which I did.  I reached out to Adrienne Ng, Lawyer and partner of open LLP and she helped me create contracts for my business that align with my BRAND, my vision, my mission, written in my voice and I understand how to use them. Expectations are clear on both sides, I have a point of reference when things become unclear.


Contracts are just one side of it, today we’re going to dive into law for startups and entrepreneurs with special guest Adrienne Ng, Law and Partner of Open LLP, a topic that I feel is so essential for the foundation of any brand and business to grow on.  

“...for every legal situation, it really is only at most 50% legal. The rest is 25% is a business decision and the other 25% is, don't laugh, is an emotional decision. It's an emotional issue. So I think it's important for business owners to kind of keep that big picture in mind when it comes to thinking about what it is that they actually want to protect and how to protect it, and to kind of keep that big picture in mind, don't get bogged down by the details.” ~ Adrienne Ng, Lawyer and partner at Open LLP

Adrienne is a Canadian corporate/commercial lawyer and trademark agent and is co-founder of Open LLP, a law firm for high-growth start-ups and entrepreneurs. Adrienne is intimately familiar with what start-up companies need and understands the challenges they face, as she is a serial entrepreneur herself, having previously launched companies in the coffee, fashion, medical and technology spaces. Adrienne often finds herself as part of a start-up's journey from inception to a significant financing to beyond, drawing from both her entrepreneurial and legal experience.


“Contract law or business law is all about the meeting of the minds and what that means is simply being on the same page. That is all it is. There's nothing magical about it. There's nothing scary about it. It's as if you and I or a client, and I sat down and talked about what is it that they want and what is it that their clients want.” ~ Adrienne Ng, Lawyer and partner at Open LLP


Episode Highlights:

  • Adrienne’s serial entrepreneurship journey
  • Understanding law for start-ups
  • Why contracts are important to protect your business and ensuring you’re on the same page
  • Why a custom contract is recommended over a templated agreement
  • How lawyers provide insight and value when creating contractual agreements
  • Understanding the components of a valid contract; 1) Meeting of the minds and 2) Consideration
  • Risks of not having a contract in place for your business


“The biggest risk of not having the kind of contract in place is there isn't any meeting of the minds. The parties have not thought about different eventualities or situations that have not yet arisen. And to distill it into simple terms is if you are not on the same page and something bad happens, then it's going to be very difficult to resolve because you have not agreed to it before you engaged with each other.” ~ Adrienne Ng, Lawyer and partner at Open LLP


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About the Podcast Host:

Hi, I'm your host Nathalie Amlani, a brand strategist, photographer, soulful entrepreneur, and visual storyteller.  I help female entrepreneurs look and feel amazing online.  Imagine creating a strong personal brand that authentically deepens the connection with your audience and leads to an increase in business revenue and joy (yes, that's what help do!).  I value community and this podcast brings to life the vision of having a hub of curated experiences and information that enables powerful growth as a collective.

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