Digitalize Global

How do I recognize a sneaky start-up agency or start-up law firm?

How do I recognize a sneaky start-up agency or start-up law firm?

Deceitfulness is a trait exhibited by many start-up agencies and law firms that aim to exploit and retain their clients.

Here are some signs that point to tried and tested rip-off strategies:

  • Superficial information on the services offered
  • Excessive use of warnings such as "caution" and "trap" in articles outlining your options.
  • Contradictory statements, e.g. negative presentation of the foundation without personal presence in an article, but positive presentation in the offers
  • Superfluous statistical information that is highly generalized
  • Pointless offers that are made to create contrasts
  • Threats of consequences for mistakes, without explanations on how to avoid mistakes
  • Unclear consultation prices, often with free initial consultation
  • Use of trust seals without verifiable sources
  • Lack of price lists, instead printing to request a non-binding initial consultation
  • Use of red colors to suggest formality and urgency
  • Logos with similarities to authoritarian structures

Aggressive marketing, but little substance

Of course, everyone wants to be paid fairly for their services. However, the fees should be reasonable so as not to be considered a scam. The customer should be treated honestly and placed at the center.

In today's globalized world, digitalization offers everyone the opportunity to set up a company quickly and inexpensively without having to worry about complex legal hurdles. Nevertheless, there are still "agencies" and "law firms" that target older generations and exploit the ignorance of their customers.

In the past, they would have been right!

Outdated assumptions such as the need for managing directors to be physically present in the country where the company is based and to have office space there are also outdated. The reality is that location independence is becoming increasingly important through the use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence and is being promoted by many governments. Digital banks with biometric interactive verification also do not require physical presence and save time and money by eliminating the need for travel and in-person visits. Claims such as "personal presence required" come from people who do not understand digitalization and are fixated on bureaucracy.

The legal situation has also evolved, with remote working and running companies without a physical presence even being promoted in the EU. Thanks to new technologies and electronic data processing, the virtual working environment is just as reputable as a traditional office.


The demand for virtual products and services has increased significantly in recent years, expanding the creative industry and making it more reputable and profitable. Compared to earlier times when such "rip-off agencies" could flourish, today's business environment has become much more transparent and trustworthy.

It is ultimately up to you whether you want to immediately request a "free initial consultation" after reading an intimidating article. In any case, I would personally advise against it.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the above dates, tax rates and regulations may change over time. Do not make any independent decisions without first consulting an expert for your individual situation. It is in your interest to always receive individual information from an experienced expert who knows your situation.

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