Annette Stepanian

Lawyer for Entrepreneurs / Annette Stepanian, Your Legal BFF

I make the law + business easy to understand, practical, and dare I say it, even a little fun so you can confidently start and grow your dream business.

What inspired you to start your business?

Upon college graduation, I moved straight on to law school, ultimately landing my dream job at a national law firm in San Francisco where I practiced litigation for over five years.  Although I love the intellectual challenges of the law, my life started to feel a bit, well, beige. I longed for more art and color in my life. So I took a leap of faith and started my own jewelry line.

As I grew my jewelry line, other small business owners and peers sought out my legal advice about starting and running their own business.  Some of my peers would panic anytime they were faced with either drafting, negotiating, or enforcing a contract. Then there were those who despite their smarts would prefer to close their eyes and ignore the need to address anything legally related.  I realized there was a unique opportunity to combine my legal know-how to help other business owners build their dreams.   Plus, as someone who has experience operating a creative business of her own, I have, I approach my work with clients not just from the legal ramifications in mind, but the business ones as well.

Fast forward to today:  I combine my passions for law and small business to help creative professionals & entrepreneurs streamline and lay a proper legal foundation for their business. I’ve been lucky to work one on one with some top entrepreneurs across a variety of industry: online educators, wedding planners, designers, photographers, coaches, consultants and so many more!

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Starting your business is like riding a roller-coaster! The highs are real high, and the lows feel real low.  But trust yourself, work hard, keep your eyes on your own lane, continue innovating and provide value to those you serve. If you're committed to seeing things through, you will succeed!

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I'm an avid reader and learner, so I try to pursue what makes me curious.

Image Credit: Sarah Eichstedt Photography,