Starting a business with a criminal record is not easy. There are many regulations and rules that you have to abide by. There are also restrictions on the industries you can join. Everything you need to prepare for are discussed below. Keep reading.
Get Your Charges Removed
Depending on the charge and how recently you got it, you may be able to get it removed. This all depends on how much time you have, as well as the lawyer you get. This would help if you are dealing with something serious like drunk driving. Don’t worry, getting dui charges dropped can be done.
There are many good drinking and driving attorneys, as well as those for assault and personal injury. Look around.
If the case was during your youth, it would be easier for you to get it removed. Most judges are willing to remove records if you were an adolescent at the time.
Can You Travel?
Once you know whether you can get the charges removed, make note of how easy it would be to travel. The business you’re thinking of starting may be one that requires you to go abroad more often. If your government doesn’t let you visit the countries you need to without visas, getting them may be hard due to your criminal history.
Pick a Field
Although you have aspirations to join a certain field, this may not be possible. Several countries have placed restrictions on felons entering medical and legal fields. Governments place these restrictions so that the general public don’t end up working with someone dishonest.
For anyone to start a business, permits would be needed. You’d have to spend quite a bit of time registering with your government too. Unfortunately, the documents needed to start a business as a former criminal won’t be easy to get. Of course, this would depend on the country and area you live in. Sometimes, you may not be approved until some time has passed since you’ve been released from jail.
Your Ability to Borrow
Finding capital to get your company off the ground is needed. The chances of you having enough savings to start things are low. You’ll probably have to work with a lender. Banks would run background checks before they approve you for loans.
To make things easier, you can borrow from private companies. They would do background checks as well. But they would be more lenient.
You probably have bad credit considering you were locked up. Borrowing from banks with bad credit may not be possible. However, a private lender would have many solutions for you.
If you’re not a fan of borrowing, you can work with investors. They wouldn’t care about your criminal status as much. You can also reach out to the government, as they could be quite lenient. Some countries offer grants to people who have served time. The money you get may not be as much as would like, but it would be enough for you to get your business started. A lot of documents would be needed to apply. The best thing about these grants is that you don’t have to pay it back. To apply for one, you’d have to get in touch with community leaders who would recommend you.
Get a Business Partner
If getting your criminal record cleaned is not a possibility, why not get a business partner? Their record would be perfect, so a lot of the things you can’t do, they can. A friend or close family member could be the best for you.
A company’s image affects how far it will go. If the business’ founder is someone with a criminal record, this might make people reluctant to want to work with you. You could try and keep this fact under the radar. Unfortunately, a rival or someone you know could leak this information.
You could also get a business partner as mentioned above. They could handle all the media work for your brand, so the chances of people knowing that you have a criminal history would be lower. You can also remain anonymous to a certain extent.
If people knew you had a criminal record, it won’t be just customers who will stay away, expect the number of applications you get to be low as well. People research companies before going for interviews. They might find information about your charges online.
However, you could use the fact that you have a criminal record to your benefit. Why not hire reformed former criminals to be a part of your business? You would help them find stable jobs. You’d also improve your brand image, as you will come across as a company trying to help others. There’s nothing people like more than a business that is socially conscious.
As people might see you as dangerous and reckless if they find out about your past, you’d have to change that mentality. Work hard once you’ve left prison. This would help you create an inspiring story which would make people want to work with you. Moreover, getting properly qualified would let your business succeed.
You might be thinking about starting a restaurant. Although you might be a fabulous chef, you may not have the best business knowledge. Getting a degree or advanced diploma in management would go a long way.
By showing the government that you have a qualification, they might see you as someone worthy of giving a grant to as well.
Have a Good Lawyer
You’re also advised to find a good lawyer. They would make note of anything that could put your business at risk.
Even if you don’t have a criminal history, you would need a superb legal representative. He or she would know the government regulations like the back of their hand. They’d be able to help in case you ever have to deal with a lawsuit.
As mentioned, permits and documents would be needed for you to register your company. Depending on where you live, you might have to fill out more forms than usual. With a lawyer’s help, you’ll be able to ace this.
Of course, the more cash you have, the better the lawyer you’d be able to hire.
Just like you would need expert legal aid, you would also need an accountant. Whether you have a criminal history or not, you will need an experienced one. They should be fully aware of tax regulations, and extra careful about other expenses. And if you’ve been in prison for a while, you might not be the most knowledgeable about taxes. The accountant would take care of things so that you don’t end up losing money.
To sum up all of the points mentioned, starting a business with criminal history can be hard – you’d be hit with many restrictions. However, there is a way around it. You could get the charges removed or find a business partner with a clean record.
As someone with criminal charges, it would be harder for you to start a company. You cannot change the system, unfortunately. In most parts of the world, if you’ve been to prison, you won’t be able to join the medical or legal fields. However, there is nothing stopping you from starting a business of your own such as a restaurant or grocery store.