If you’re the new owner of a small business, or you’re on your way to becoming one, congratulations! This is probably one of the most exciting — not to mention stressful — times in your life.
You probably have some sort of (formal or informal) business plan in place to help ensure that you’ve tackled some key steps. But have you given any serious thought to the legal aspects of running a business, and whether you have appropriate assistance and protection?
Read on to learn more about whether — and when — it’s a good idea to hire a small business lawyer.
What does a small business lawyer do?
To get a sense of whether or not you need a business lawyer, you should have an idea of the typical things that they can help with — here are some examples:
- Intellectual property issues
- Real estate and zoning
- Financing and debt
- Property transactions
- Labor law
- Business dissolution
This is by no means an extensive list! If you are a new business owner, you’ll want to find a lawyer who is a specialist in a particular area that is relevant to your business. For instance, if you are a media company, you may want to hire someone who is well-versed in copyright law, and so on.
Beyond these somewhat obvious legal elements, it’s important to note that a qualified business lawyer can offer information and insight right from the very start of your business. They can help you to understand law and policy so that you can rest assured you’re doing it right from the get-go.
In this sense, business lawyers act as advisors and can even offer strategic insight as you move forward building a successful business.
I am a firm believer that businesses that don’t plan for legal problems are the first to develop legal problems. Every business owner should learn more about business law.
Do you need a small business lawyer? How to Assess Your Business
Though a consultation with a business lawyer is never a bad idea, you probably don’t need to worry about hiring a business lawyer if you are running a (low-risk) sole proprietorship, unless it is in an area that is particularly complex with regards to legal or policy matters.
If you have a partnership, LLC or corporation on the other hand — in other words, if you’re running a business that directly involves others in a contractual sense — you will benefit from the services of a business lawyer.
Keep these questions in mind as you are making the decision whether or not to hire a lawyer for your small business:
- What kind of business do you have?
- Is it complicated to start and/or run?
- Is the paperwork overwhelming or confusing?
- Will you be hiring several staff members right away?
- Is the business in a high-risk category, financially, legally, or in another way?
- Are you unsure how to develop certain aspects of your business, such as trademarks or staffing?
Not sure if you want to open a partnership, LLC, or corporation? A lawyer can help you figure this out, too!
When is it beneficial to hire a small business lawyer?
Did you know that a lawyer can play a proactive role in the initial formation of a business?
If you bring them on from the outset, they will get to know you and your business and can serve as both consultant and confidante throughout the journey.
When you invest in a trusted and experienced lawyer at the start of your business, they can help build you start strong from the beginning, help you to avoid possible mishaps, and even contribute to a more balanced budget.
If you are just starting out with your new business, chances are you are facing a lot of stress. When you have a trusted professional who has experience in your area, you can find peace of mind that you will be protected in worst-case scenarios like contract violations or labor disputes.
Don’t Leave Your New Small Business at Risk of a Lawsuit
Almost everyone who starts a new small business is in a bit of a precarious situation with regard to finances. Breaking even in the first few years is usually the key to long-term success, and you don’t want to risk making a costly legal mistake during this time.
A great lawyer will take the time to get to know you and your business from the start and help to guide you along every step of the way so that you don’t end up making any costly mistakes.
Reach out to us today for more information on how we can help put your mind at ease and prevent problems with your new business.
Want to learn about running your small business? Check out these blogs!