If you are a small business owner, there is a high possibility that you have an insurance agent, accountant, and mentor to give you some advice. But do you have an attorney for your business? You may not have to employ one on a permanent basis but there will come a time when you will need the services of a lawyer. Here are five reasons that will make you consult an attorney for your small business.
Many small business owners consider that getting an attorney is a wasteful expenditure. However, instead of being a wasteful expenditure, getting an attorney for your small business might be the best decision you would have ever taken. Dispute resolutions, filing paperwork, negotiating with employees and other vendors become very easy. You should also consider online mediation services as an alternative after discussing the same with your attorney. If you feel that the dispute is located in another geographical region, this makes a lot of sense.
5 Reasons to Consult an Attorney for Your Small Business:
1. You are Determining the Structure of Your Enterprise:
The need for a business lawyer starts with something very elementary and essential. This always makes business owners and entrepreneurs ask the question- where to find a business lawyer? This is because a business lawyer can help in setting up the business according to the greatest possible benefit on offer. What is this benefit? Lower taxation structures, less paperwork, and more freedom for general business operations.
The first thing that small business owner should do is to determine the structure of their business. some of the options include nonprofits, corporations, LLC, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Your decisions will affect the exposure you have to personal liabilities, ongoing expenses, setup fees, tax obligations, and how you can acquire funding legally. An experienced business lawyer will guide you so that you can make the right decisions for your business. The attorney will also assist you to put together all the required documentation.
2. You are Handling Employee’s Matters:
At some point, it is important to hire a business lawyer to handle employee-related issues. For instance, when you think about using independent contractors or hiring employees. There are some specific laws that you have to obey. Reputable lawyers know all these laws and will help you to abide. You can also hire a business lawyer to protect your interests when you are facing an employee lawsuit.
3. You are Negotiating of Drafting a Contract:
There are high chances that you will get in one or more contracts when in business. The lawyer will ensure that you are not signing one that will put your business in jeopardy. Attorneys have the expertise of removing any problematic clauses and telling when you need to add additional languages. An excellent example is a contract that has a dispute clause because mediation can stop you from going to court. The contract should give you access to all the available options especially in case there is a dispute.
4. Federal, State, or Local Government Files a Complaint Against Your Business:
If the government is investigating your business or has filed a legal suit against it, you need the services of a reputable lawyer. Several reasons can necessitate such lawsuits or investigations. For instance, one of your employees can claim your business, and the labor department of the state will begin to investigate it. You may also have a case with your taxman concerning your tax returns for the previous year. I have seen businesses battling with court cases after firing workers for not having adequate English skills. The lawyer will plan the best course of action that will assist you to handle such matters.
5. You are Negotiating Selling or Buying a Business:
If you want to buy a new business, you need a lawyer by your side to assist you with the complex elements of such a transaction. For instance, a reputable attorney will help you to value the business, craft a purchase agreement, write an acquisition, do due diligence, and transfer licenses and permits. The same case applies when you are selling your business because lawyers can assist you to get the most value from your enterprise. The legal expert will also make sure that the transfer of stock is done in the right manner, help with all negotiations, and help you to vet buyers.
As the owner of a small business, you need to have a close friendship with an excellent business attorney. These professionals will walk with you through certain hard situations. If you have no relationship with one of them yet, think about how you will get one so that you can call upon him/her when the need arises.
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