When an entrepreneur is in the process of starting up a business, she may have very little space in which to operate and not enough time and/or money to find all the space and resources she needs for the business. This is where business incubators come into play.
Business incubators operate to help startup companies become financially independent and viable. They can provide the following resources for a new business:
- Spaces that are general flexible, and leases for a low-rate
- Assistance for funding and financing your business
- Group rates for health, life and other insurance programs
- Services that will help your business¿such as libraries, meeting rooms, access to fax and copy machines, and secretarial resources such as telephone answering and bookkeeping
- Networking with other startup business owners
There are some factors you should consider when deciding which business incubator is best for your needs:
- What services does the incubator provide?
- What are the fees for the services provided by the incubator?
- Are current tenants satisfied with the incubator?
- What policies and procedures do you have to follow?
- Can you get out of the lease agreement without much hassle if your business does not quite work out?
- How is the management for the incubator? Does it have good ties to the business community?
Keep in mind that incubators do not run your business for you. You will still have all the duties of the business owner and will need to put forth your own personal effort and resourcefulness.
Most of the time, entrepreneurs will become involved with business incubators because they do not have the money and resources to support their business all by themselves. It is not really a surprise then that many entrepreneurs may not have the money to consult an attorney before getting involved with a business incubator. However, keep in mind that when you deal with a business incubator, you are going to forming a contractual agreement that is legally enforceable. If you have the time and money, you should consult a corporate attorney who has experience with startup businesses. Your attorney will be able to go over any contracts with you and make sure your best interests and the interests of your business are adequately represented.