The truth is that most of us are never thrilled with the idea of consulting a lawyer. After all, lawyers come with their own set of costs and can add complexity to the problem at hand.
However, there are times when it is in your best interests to hire a qualified business attorney for legal advice.
Remember that running a business usually involves some risk, and you may have to make decisions that could result in serious legal consequences.
Depending on the complexity of your business, you may even be required by law to hire a qualified attorney.
Here are some scenarios that would warrant the hiring of a business lawyer for your small business:
Changing Business Structure or Ownership
When starting a business, one of the most critical considerations is picking the right business structure.
This decision will impact many aspects of your company, from tax bills and stock options to other financial issues. If you’re the only owner, you can usually make this decision yourself initially.
However, it is also important to remember that you can change your business structure if it evolves.
One of the main reasons people change business structures is to keep their personal and business finances separate.
If you decide to change your business structure, you need to talk to a business attorney. An attorney will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of the change and guide you through the entire process.
This is especially important if you aim to bring in new investors or strategic partners.
Remember that anyone with an ownership stake in your business has legal rights, even if they own only a small percentage of it.
Therefore, if you’re bringing more ownership into your business, you must do it in a way that preserves your rights and prevents potential conflicts down the road.
You must also be aware of any taxes or fees associated with changing your business structure.
Depending on where your business is located, there may be local, state, or federal taxes and fees associated with the change.
Ensure you’re familiar with these charges before changing your current business structure.
Furthermore, it is essential to ensure all paperwork is in order for structure change. An attorney will help you file the appropriate paperwork with the relevant government agencies and ensure all documents comply with the law.
Issues with Employees
Employment law is a highly specialized and complex field. Business owners must comply with a host of federal, state, and local laws that cover everything from recruiting and hiring to compensation, benefits, and terminations.
If you have any questions or concerns about your employees, it is best to consult with a business lawyer familiar with employment law in your specific jurisdiction.
A qualified attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities of running a business and ensure your hiring and firing practices comply with the law.
An attorney can also help you draft contracts for employees or independent contractors, review any employee handbooks you may have, and provide advice on important matters such as overtime pay, minimum wage requirements, and other labor-related issues.
Running a business usually involves entering into contracts with clients, vendors, or other parties. Having a business lawyer review and create your contracts is essential to ensure compliance with the law.
Contracts can be complex documents with many potential legal implications.
A qualified business attorney can help you understand what the contract terms mean in practice and avoid any potential issues before they become an issue. They can also help you tailor your contracts to suit the specific needs of your business.
Contracts are legally binding documents and can be used in court, so it is essential to ensure they are airtight.
A competent business attorney will review any contract you enter into before signing to ensure it meets your legal requirements and protects the interests of your business.
Dealing with Legal Disputes
If the worst happens and you end up in a legal dispute, it’s crucial to have a qualified attorney. Your lawyer will help ensure your rights are upheld and advise you on how best to proceed with any legal proceedings.
A lawyer who is familiar with your business will be able to offer you the best-tailored advice. They’ll also have knowledge of relevant laws and regulations that could help your case in court. Having a lawyer on your side can provide peace of mind when dealing with legal disputes.
Business Mergers and Acquisitions
Business mergers and acquisitions can be complicated, especially if they involve multiple entities.
Depending on the size of the transaction, you may need to consult with lawyers in multiple jurisdictions who are familiar with both local laws as well as any applicable federal regulations.
An experienced business attorney will help you evaluate potential mergers and acquisitions, draft any necessary documents, negotiate terms, and handle all the legal paperwork.
They also can advise you on tax consequences and other financial implications of a merger or acquisition.
Finally, an attorney will help you protect your business’s interests in a transaction, including reviewing any existing contracts that may be affected by the deal and ensuring that all parties are held to their obligations.
Clearly, there are many situations where it is crucial to hire a qualified business lawyer to provide legal advice and protect your interests.
Whether you are dealing with employment issues, negotiating contracts, or entering into a business transaction, a lawyer can help you avoid potential pitfalls and ensure that you comply with all applicable laws.
Having an experienced attorney on your side will give you peace of mind in complicated situations.