8 Critical Reasons You Need a Small Business Attorney
by Arina Smith Small Business 23 June 2018
Do you think you don’t need a small business attorney?
In a lot of situations, you’ll face in your business, you can’t afford to have one. You might be tempted to do the work yourself or find solutions online to save money.
That approach to your legal issues doesn’t take into account your unique industry and business situation. If a legal issue were to escalate to the courts, it could cost you way more than legal fees.
When you start your business, there are a number of services you’ll need to hire at the beginning.
A small business lawyer has to be one of the core services you hire, whether you’re a home-based business or a retail location with employees.
Keep reading to learn the 8 reasons why a small business attorney is a critical part of your team.
1. Start Your Business Right :
Ask any business lawyer what the top two questions they get are. You can be positive that they’ll be:
1.) Should I be an S-Corp?
2.) Should I file my LLC in Delaware?
These questions are common because you want to be sure that you start your company with the correct structure. There are tax and legal implications to the legal structure of your business.
A small business attorney will be able to advise you on what you should file your company as, in what state, and they’ll draw up the paperwork to help you do that.
2. Contracts :
Your business needs contracts. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are.
You’re dealing with other businesses and people and contacts will help you hold them accountable
It’s common for businesses to start out without contracts. Then their first big client is late with a payment, or an important vendor could miss a delivery.
Those two situations can have a huge impact on your cash flow.
Contracts can be used to hold them accountable and get them to deliver on time. Without a well-written contract, you have no recourse and your business will suffer.
3. Employee Issues :
Employee issues are common in the workplace. Some employees are disruptive, others are under-performers.
You also have state and federal guidelines regarding hiring, paying and firing employees. These are designed to protect employees from bad business practices. You have to follow these regulations, too.
A small business lawyer can help you develop hiring practices and guidelines to discipline your employees if you need to. These guidelines should also have an escalation process that leads to termination.
Of course, you don’t want to fire your employees, but you don’t want them to hit back with a wrongful termination lawsuit either.
4. Mitigate Risk :
Being in business means that you have to understand and accept risks. It’s a part of the territory.
Someone could trip and fall at your location. Another can sue you because they didn’t feel they got great service. You could get sued if you wrote a blog post and someone injured themselves following the advice is given.
They’ll also help you figure out what those risks are.
5. Trademarks & Patents :
In your business, the most valuable assets may be your company’s name and brand. You can protect them by filing a trademark application.
You may be a do-it-yourself type of person. You’re probably tempted to take the inexpensive route to file your own trademark application.
Up to 80% of trademark applications are rejected. Most of them are due to preventable errors that a business attorney would have spotted.
6. Compliance :
Small businesses today have a lot of regulations to deal with. There may be environmental regulations, state and federal regulations to comply with.
Affiliate marketers have to comply with the FTC’s affiliate disclosure. Doctors have to abide by HIPPA. Financial businesses have several laws and regulations they have to navigate. The same with Realtors.
You want to have a small business attorney on hand who can help you through the complexities of some of these regulations and who understands your industry.
7. Restructure Your Company :
As your small business grows, your business needs will change. You will have to consider things like restructuring the business.
If you started out as a sole proprietor or LLC, it may make sense to become an S-Corp. The business can expand to include partners.
Regardless of the reasons, an attorney can advise you on the best way to restructure your business that meets your growing needs.
8. Negotiate the Sale or Purchase of a Business :
When you first started your company, was selling it part of your exit strategy?
If it was, then you’ll need an attorney when it’s time to sell your business and cash out. You’ll need help assessing the full value of your business, negotiate the sale, and write up the agreements.
The same can be done if you plan to acquire another business.
A law firm like De Bruin Law Firm can also make sure that you have the proper permits in place and that nothing gets in the way of you getting full value for your business.
They’ll advise you on strategy and tax planning to make sure you get the most out of the sale.
A Small Business Attorney Can Protect You :
Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
That little nugget of wisdom means that taking precautions early on can prevent major issues down the road. That can apply to your health and the health of your business.
The same goes for hiring a small business attorney. They can look over contracts and you get your business set up with the right legal structure. They can also be a guide for legal questions to make sure that your business is protected every step of the way.
Building a business is hard as it is. You don’t want legal issues to get in the way of your growth.
Do you want more top business tips? Take a look at our blog today.
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