Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer.
The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don’t have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g., you’re sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run.
While you certainly don’t need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer.
Issues You Can Handle on Your Own
There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can?
The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print):
- Writing a business plan
- Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online)
- Reserving a domain name for your website
- Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company, operating agreement, or shareholder’s agreement
- Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires
- Interviewing and hiring employees
- Submitting necessary Tax forms
- Documenting meetings
- Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors
- Creating contracts for use with customers or clients
- Updating any partnership, Limited Liability Company, or shareholder’s agreements under which you are currently operating
The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.
Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer
Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out Tax forms or fill in standard business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.
An Ounce of Prevention
While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn’t hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you’ll be paying in attorney’s fees, court fees, and damages.
If, on the other hand, you had consulted an attorney beforehand you would have learned that the small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.
To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.
For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you’ve already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.
You won’t need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it’s good to know where to find the right one. Frans and Associates has a vast expertise as business lawyers and is willing to help you with your legal business issues in an effective, efficient and professional.
Take action to protect yourself from unnecessary legal headaches. Call us +5999 4612812 or e-mail us (email@example.com) and also ask for our FREE LEGAL HEALTH CHECK to see if your business is legally fit!! Also check out our website (www.franslegfal.com) for valuable information