Lessons from the Den

The sixth season of CBC’s Dragons’ Den came to an end last week ( www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/) and I will confess to being a big fan.

The show is not just entertaining (who doesn’t love Mr. Wonderful & his “money is the only thing of value attitude” … unless he’s on his second show Redemption Inc., in which case it is not … I digress) but it is a fantastic learning tool for people with good ideas who are interested in taking those ideas to the next level

From a business law point of view, the show is light on content, but that is not the point of it – it is meant to encourage businesses to grow and thrive.

The interesting business law starts after the cameras stop rolling and the due diligence starts: the Dragons no doubt go through all the business statements and from talk on past seasons, do background checks on all the parties involved in the deal. Ultimately, terms are put to paper and many deals break down at that point.

While we do not handle the work of Dragons, we do help many people with good ideas take their ideas to the next level by ensuring they have agreements with partners, suppliers and customers that protect them and allow them to focus on growing their business, not wondering if they are protected if something goes wrong.

The best lesson any business can learn from the Den is not to be afraid to turn down an opportunity if the due diligence shows it to be more sizzle than substance – always remember it’s o.k. to say “and for that reason, I’m out”.

Inga B. Andriessen JD