Bas van der Werf about his company; HalloLex, and more! (Interview)


Helping (young) entrepreneurs and professional self-employees with all their juridical/legal documents for a keen price, is what HalloLex is all about! Bas van der Werf, a young entrepreneur, Business Economics student at Tilburg University, and of course the founder of HalloLex, talks about his company and experiences with us!

Hello Bas! Great to hear from you. We would really like to get to know you better and listen to your experiences!
So, first, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Bas van der Werf, 24 years old and raised in Doorn. In 2015 I started my studies Business Economics at Tilburg University from which I haven’t graduated yet. Nowadays I am busy building my company HalloLex (but more about this later). After work or at the weekends
I enjoy time with friends by going out for dinner or making small trips. Whilst my days are, enjoyable, busy, I try to work out every day in order to stay physically healthy.
 I play golf and have always played field hockey, until last year when I got injured and couldn’t manage it with work anymore. 

"I didn’t really have one moment in which I thought ‘I want to start a business, let’s go!"

As you said, you are busy building a company. How did you become an entrepreneur?
I started my first business (WEMEB) in 2017, during my board year at the Academic Business Club. At that time, I was in contact with a lot of (student)entrepreneurs and thought I could make a business out of all the knowledge and network I build that year. One year later, at the beginning of 2018 and after the big crypto-high late 2017, I founded WERFS Investment Management (WERFS IM), an investment fund in which we invested mainly in cryptocurrencies. 
I didn’t really have one moment in which I thought ‘I want to start a business, let’s go’. It kind of came by itself and seemed the right choice.

It came kind of naturally you say. What is your view on; entrepreneurship runs through the veins?
I think you need to, naturally, have some sort of mindset in which you can always challenge yourself to push further and be creative at all times. But ‘runs through the veins’, I don’t know... As long you are really enthusiastic about your business and field of work and are willing to work unconditionally I think you can get really far.

There has to be a moment when you make the decision to start a business. When and how did you realize starting a business is something for you?
I never had a concrete or certain moment when I thought this is it for me. As said, it just developed sort off and I rolled into the whole entrepreneurial network in Tilburg. 

"It’s strange that there are so many startups and freelancers that all, one way or the other, have to deal with legal matters, but there isn’t a good solution for them."

Let’s talk about HalloLex. How was the idea of HalloLex born and what were your first steps?
I founded two companies before and, no surprise, I had to do something with legal matters. At WEMEB I needed good terms and conditions but I couldn’t afford a lawyer to make them for me. So, just like a lot of startups and freelancers, I googled it, took some terms from the internet that seemed ok to me, and filled in WEMEB at every place needed. Good enough I thought, but not really the right way of course. Then, at WERFS IM, I needed a lot of legal advice but I wasn’t able to pay a lawyer its hourly wage. Second legal struggle. So, both together, I thought ‘it’s strange that there are so many startups and freelancers that all, one way or the other, have to deal with legal matters, but there isn’t a good solution for them’. That’s when I saw the opportunity to start a new business. First steps where finding a legal partner since I have no legal background myself haha.
Right now, my main focus is on HalloLex, your online legal assistant at a fair (fixed) price. At Lex, we aim to make your company legally healthy in order to prevent unwanted situations. By making it possible to shop your contracts online and let them be customized to your company by one of our lawyers, it has never been easier nor cheaper to make sure you’re up for serious business without doubting legal risks.

"Being able to make your own choices, as cheesy as it sounds, is one of my biggest motivators."

You already have some experience in starting businesses. What was an important lesson you learned while starting a business?
Patience, perseverance, and trust. You are working on something you hope is going to work out but of which you are never sure.

Starting an own business is not always the easy way and it takes a lot of motivation and discipline. For you as an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
Being able to make your own choices, as cheesy as it sounds, is one of my biggest motivators. If I come up with an idea, I can directly pursue and start working on it.

So when we ask you to describe, In one word, your life as an entrepreneur?

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
As I mentioned before; patience, perseverance, and trust. On top of that, I think knowing what you’re doing or are willing to do. Really become an expert and dig into the market, the competitors, your potential customers, etc etc.

So with your experiences and knowledge about entrepreneurship and starting a business; what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Just go! I would always say following a few steps is crucial in my opinion; first, is to come up with an idea of course, second, is to validate your idea, third, doing a pilot phase and the fourth step is where you sign your first customers. If you follow those steps you can start literally with an MVP and build your company onwards.

You already took these steps of course and developed a great solid business. What are your future plans?
Building HalloLex to an international platform where we help all sorts of startups and freelancers with their first legal steps!

Dear Bas, thank you so much for answering our questions and sharing your knowledge and experience. We wish you all the best with HalloLex and your path in making it an international platform!
Interested in reading more about HalloLex? Visit the website!
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