Almost every business recognizes the importance of an accountant to manage their accounts when they start. Hiring someone to keep track of your funds so that you can comply with government requirements is very common.
Most small businesses will think of every issue that needs sorting out when they start. However, one thing that they tend to overlook is hiring a good business attorney. It doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer when you have a lawsuit at your doorstep. Because in this case, you’ll end up paying more for an attorney to handle the mess.
A small business needs a business lawyer upon starting their business. However, keep in mind that even lawyers have their specialization. A business needs a business lawyer who understands the laws concerning running a business.
So, does a small business need a business lawyer? Definitely! Here’s why a business lawyer is essential.
- Before the business starts.
Before you start your business, you need to have a learned and experienced attorney for your business name and tagline.
They can check whether the business name you want to use is available. They can also check and point out if there are any conflicts concerning your tagline. The business lawyer will tell you if you need any special permits to start your business in a particular location. Additionally, they can help obtain those permits. A business attorney is also useful when deciding the type of business entity you want to create. They will be able to advise you whether you should register as a corporation or an LLC.
Besides this, your attorney can handle all the paperwork and registration requirements to start your business. It’s highly suggested that you avail the services of a business lawyer from the very onset of your business so that your business gets a smooth legal start.
- Help with banking, insurance, and tax compliance
It is always a good idea to keep your personal and business accounts separate. Every company will need one or more bank accounts. Your business lawyer can help you by suggesting what account/s and the type of account/s you to open.
Your small business attorney can help you understand what kind of insurance covers your business and employees. They will be able to guide you and help you with the nitty-gritty of proper insurance coverage.
A good business lawyer should also be able to guide you regarding tax compliance laws in your area. Rather than getting into trouble with government officials, it is much better to have an attorney guide you and help you with compliance.
Having said all of this, please understand that a business lawyer is not expected to know everything. However, they should be proactive, resourceful, and have an excellent network to help with various aspects of keeping your business a clean legal entity.
- Drafting and managing contracts, agreements, and policies
Even before a business starts, a lawyer would need to draft agreements and policies that will govern how the company runs and what to do when conflict arises.
Then, there are employment contracts and contracts with vendors and contractors. For all of these, you will need a good business lawyer to draft and maintain contracts that look after the business’s interests.
Again, in case of conflicts, you should be able to depend on your attorney to fight for the interests of the company.
Your attorney should be proactive enough to preempt attempts at a breach of contracts and policies. And in case there is a breach, he should defend the business.
- Intellectual property matters
Suppose you are in a business that involves creativity or proprietary technology or inventions. In that case, you need to have your lawyer prevent and tackle any infringement.
They should also be able to help you with obtaining patents if you require them. A good attorney will tackle any misuse of your business name, tagline, or logos.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
As mentioned earlier, a business lawyer may not know everything but need to be proactive and resourceful to work for the business’s benefit. It’s highly recommended that you select your business attorney carefully.
Build a strong relationship with them because that will be an incentive to work for the business. To build a healthy relationship, you need to select someone you like and work with, who has a good reputation and is open to learning.
Your attorney should also be able to teach and guide you regarding the nuances of business law.
Should you hire a big law firm or a small business lawyer to help you? Keep in mind a few things, a big law firm may not be keen to work with a small business, and you will have to work with a battery of lawyers if you hire them.
On the other hand, a small business lawyer may not have the kind of impact on a lawsuit that a big law firm will have. We suggest you select a small business lawyer who has a good reputation and a good network. These are just some of the areas where a business lawyer is required for a small business. As suggested above, you need to hire a good business lawyer right at the start, not when you’re already facing an issue. Your business lawyer should be able to handle all legal aspects of your business and work for the business’s benefit.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand and appreciate a small business’s need to have a business lawyer.