Hiring a trusted business lawyer when there’s no actual problem may seem like an unnecessary expense.
But if you’re planning on starting or buying a business, it’s best to have one on your side from day one.
Why hire a business lawyer?
You might be surprised to learn just how many aspects of your business an attorney can help with.
From foundational documents to day-to-day issues, meeting with them regularly from the outset will allow them to get to know your business and help you establish key priorities.
Their expertise will help you stay on top of things the most important and high-risk business activities — for instance:
- Crisis prevention and management
- Risk assessment and management
- Buying or selling a business
- Contract drafting and negotiations
- Intellectual property agreements and disputes
- Debt collection and bankruptcy
- Taxes and licenses
Don’t wait until it’s too late and you are already being sued!
What to Look for When Hiring a Business Lawyer
You never know who to trust these days, but fortunately, we have plenty of ways to learn more about who to hire.
Referrals from other businesses are still one of the best ways to learn about experts in your neighborhood. Ask them what types of problems the lawyers solved, and whether or not they would turn to them again if they were in need.
And online reviews are readily accessible, although you don’t need to take these at face value.
There’s no harm in asking legal professionals directly as to what their specific experience is. Be sure to ask what kind of experience they have as lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas.
Another thing to inquire about is how well-connected they are to other organizations who may be able to partner with you in certain situations.
Other things to consider:
- Are they good at explaining things in a way you can understand?
- Are they able to follow through on projects per an agreed-on deadline?
- How do they bill and how can you work their rates into your budget?
- Do you genuinely like and trust this person?
Ask for a written statement with the lawyer to make sure that you have a solid working agreement going forwards, and make sure you are clear about any deposits or contingency fees.
When to Hire a Business Lawyer
In almost any situation it is a good idea to have a trusted lawyer at the outset of buying or starting a business.
When starting a new company there are always legal and administrative complexities that would be difficult for anyone to wade through and understand without help — here are three key areas you’ll likely need guidance for.
Business law attorneys can help to create, understand, and file the necessary legal documents for your business.
They can create internal agreements that will control how a newly acquired company is managed. This includes shareholder agreements and ownership rights — areas that can easily become blurry or contested if not clearly laid out upfront.
They’ll ensure that you practice due diligence from the start, and take that weight off your shoulders as you concentrate on managing and building your business.
Business lawyers can help you even before you start a business, helping you to determine what type of entity is best, how to acquire financing, and so on.
Their main purpose here is to help you analyze risk and protect you from liability.
A business not set up to provide limited liability means that the owners are putting all of their personal assets within reach of the business’s creditors. By working with an attorney at the inception of the business, this situation can easily be avoided.
While your accountant should be on top of applicable tax rules and accounting issues, a legal expert can help to ensure you don’t get into trouble by taking steps that accrue unnecessary taxation when they help you build the fundamentals of your business.
This might include credits and deductions which come into question especially if you are acquiring an existing business with assets.
They’ll help you to stay organized for filing taxes which will, in turn, help your accountant manage the numbers.
The lawyer will stay on top of compliance issues and help you save money to lower the tax burden.
Do you need a business lawyer?
If you are a current or would-be business owner, the answer is probably yes.
From pre-purchase to selling or closing, the business law team at the Contiguglia Law Firm is here to help you make the most of your business every step of the way.
Our goal is to help to protect your business assets while offering greater confidence and stability as you move forward on this exciting and (hopefully) profitable journey.
Start with a confidential consultation today.
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you: