CSU students use campus attorneys to start businesses

Student Legal Services can help students begin the process of creating their own business.

Founder of Chefs On the Go, Christina Minihan, poses at the cookie store she often visits with her business. Chefs On the Go brings kids to local restaurants to learn how to cook from the chefs.
Founder of Chefs On the Go, Christina Minihan, poses at the cookie store she often visits with her business. Chefs On the Go brings kids to local restaurants to learn how to cook from the chefs.

For CSU budding entrepreneurs, the SLS office is able to give consultations to think through the legal steps of starting a business.

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The service is meant to help students through the different tasks involved with problems like sales taxes, employees and copyrights.

“This is a time for students to think of how to launch and what are the steps that they have to do,” said Kathy Harward, an attorney with SLS. “(Professors) talking to the whole class is more general; here we can get specific and it is confidential, so students can bring ideas and know we won’t talk about them to anyone.”

“This is really the only time an entrepreneur can talk to a lawyer for free,” Harward added. “Typically, they have to pay a minimum of $200 and up for a real lawyer. Students can get hands on tools for what they need (at SLS).”

Many business professors, such as Burt Deines, refer students in their classes to SLS in order to get business advice. According to Deines, he can give general guidance, but students need someone with a strong legal background to look at starting a business.

“I certainly encourage students to go,” Deines said. “It is a fabulous resource, and it gives them a leg up from someone outside of campus who will be paying hundreds of dollars. They are a good resource to guide them along this path.

“I always say you need one person on your team who has good legal advice,” he said.  “It will save them from a headache later down the road.”

The SLS service is unique because, after the sessions, Harward will email the students with any resources, links and steps that were looked at in order to help them know what to do to continue their idea. According to Harward, many students leaving the sessions have positive comments about the service.

“The experience at SLS has been incredibly positive,” said Christine Marie, a culinary tourism doctorate student. “The service provided helped me gain a better understanding on how registering for trade names and trademarks works.”

“The meetings were so impactful, to the point of me suggesting the service several times to other students,” Marie added.  “As a result, a few friends have looked into it and have also had a great experience working with SLS.”

To learn more about the SLS office, students can visit sls.colostate.edu or stop into their office, located in room 182 in the Lory Student Center to set up an appointment.

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Collegian Writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at news@collegian.com.