When Does Your Small Business Need A Lawyer?
When starting a business, most people only pay attention to raising capital and marketing their products or services. But, unfortunately, they fail to remember that their business may run into legal problems in the future, and the only person who will get it out of the mess is a business lawyer.
Although the initial stages of choosing and forming a business entity are easy, and you can do it independently, it is always advisable to bring in a small business attorney as early as possible. This will help you avoid some mistakes or getting into situations with dire consequences for your business.
How will a lawyer be of service to start-ups?
Form of Business
If you need help forming a partnership, corporation, or LLC, various legal self-help resources are at your disposal. Choosing the ownership structure that best suits your needs depends on your business type, financing, and the number of owners. For most start-ups, this is an easy step.
However, if you are unsure of the best business type for your goals, or your business is complex, for example, if it has multiple partners or investors, it is wise to consult with an attorney. They will go through the various business forms with you, explaining the pros and cons of each and helping you reach an informed decision.
Trademarks and Patents
Every business needs to trademark its logo and any other marks associated with its brand. However, seeing as there is a lot of self-help information available on the topic, this is something you can handle on your own.
Patents, however, are more complex, and if any mistakes happen, they will cost you dearly. Therefore, for this particular process, you need to engage the services of a patent law attorney.
No matter how much you trust someone, you will always need to enter into a contract with them for purposes of protecting your business. You never know when a client will back out of your deal.
Ensure your contract outlines the work and payment scope together with the possibilities that could go south. While templates are available online to help you draft contracts for different situations, you might want to bring in an attorney for reviewing and fine-tuning them. This way, you ensure the contracts’ completeness. Also, before signing any contract your client hands you, always ask for your attorney to review it.
Existing businesses too need attorneys for the following purposes:
It isn’t uncommon for businesses to sell their goods or services on credit. Sometimes, however, the debtors may default, forcing you to take the client to court. If it reaches this point, you will need the advice or representation of an attorney.
Although you can easily create an employee handbook without requiring help, an attorney should always review it. They ensure your employee policies are in line with federal and state laws.
If you wish to avoid getting served with a lawsuit, you need to consult your attorney before terminating employees. A lawyer will advise you to reconsider your decision or gather enough documentation before releasing the employee in such a situation.
In this uncertain world, even with proper marketing strategies, anything could go wrong for your business at any time. And when this happens, you will be happy to have a business lawyer in your midst.