There are over 1.3 million lawyers practicing in the United States. With all of that legal help available, it’s a wonder why more small businesses don’t have a go-to attorney.
Not having any concept of who to call for legal matters is one of the biggest plagues we see in small business communities. It leaves many companies exposed to lawsuits, creates conditions where corporate foundations are built on weak legal footings, and makes for a bevy of headaches when unexpected issues arise.
If you’ve mulled over engaging a business lawyer in the past but haven’t gotten around to it yet, keep reading. In this post, we share 8 key reasons to hire a lawyer and the value they bring to businesses.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Enjoy Tighter Contracts
- 2 2. Avoid Lawsuits Through Audits
- 3 3. Reduce Damages From Legal Action
- 4 4. Get Your Company Formally Structured
- 5 5. Understand the Intricacies of Certain Territories
- 6 6. Exit Your Company the Right Way
- 7 7. Protect Your IP
- 8 8. Save You From Yourself
- 9 Finding a Business Lawyer Doesn’t Have to Be a Big Commitment
1. Enjoy Tighter Contracts
When you hire employees, engage contractors, take on building leases, or do just about anything else in business, you’re going to have to sign contracts. In some cases, you’ll have to create them.
If you’re not well-versed in employment law, real estate law, and the like, every time you put a pen to a piece of paper you’re putting yourself at risk. Having a business lawyer in your corner can mitigate that risk.
Lawyers will help you draft up effective contracts and will make sure the contracts you sign are in your best interest.
2. Avoid Lawsuits Through Audits
There are a lot of things going on in your business. Chances are, at least one of them puts you at risk of a lawsuit.
Experienced business lawyers are willing to audit your business practices from end to end and flag if something is off. That auditing process will let you tighten the screws so you don’t accidentally open yourself up to a lawsuit brought on by an employee, the government, or any other person/entity.
3. Reduce Damages From Legal Action
Even when you’re scrupulous in reducing your lawsuit exposure, lawsuits still happen. Sometimes, those lawsuits are justified and your business could be staring down steep damages.
With a business lawyer in your corner, you can rest easy(ish) knowing that while you’re facing hardship, your attorney will push to mitigate damages and furnish you the best outcome, whatever that may be.
4. Get Your Company Formally Structured
Small businesses tend to make the mistake of operating without any formal means of incorporation. This default “sole-proprietorship” status makes it so when somebody sues your business, they’re actually suing you.
Imagine having to field a business lawsuit and that suit targeting your personal bank assets, home, car, etc. If that reality scares you, talk to a lawyer and get formally structured now.
Formal structuring will create legal separation between you and your business. That will limit your personal exposure when your business gets into legal bindings.
5. Understand the Intricacies of Certain Territories
Expansion is the dream of most business owners. If you share that vision and grow your company into different states, while the upside of making such a move could be enormous, so can the headaches.
Every state operates a little bit differently and understanding those differences is integral to avoiding legal trouble. For example, California has much stricter tax and employment laws than South Dakota.
Searching “business lawyer near me” and finding an attorney that not only understands your territory’s rules but other territories can be massively beneficial to your ability to create a multi-state empire.
6. Exit Your Company the Right Way
You’re not going to run your business forever. Once you throw in the towel, how can you make sure you’re able to sell or pass on your legacy to a family member effectively?
The answer to that question, as is the case with most of the questions we’ve posed in this post, is to engage a business lawyer.
Business lawyers that specialize in “exit strategies” can walk you through various exit options that are available and their legal implications. Once you’ve landed on a strategy you’d like to pursue, your lawyer will make sure that details are covered off so you can move on with your life without having to worry about legal challenges to your sale, liability issues, and other negative consequences.
7. Protect Your IP
Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many businesses. Take Disney for example. Where would they be without their iconic characters?
The only way you can protect your intellectual property from being infringed on is by hiring a business lawyer to ensure proper filings are executed domestically and in foreign countries where copyright laws might look different.
They can also help you send cease and deists for infringements and when necessary, sue for infringement that has damaged you financially.
8. Save You From Yourself
With the explosion of information that’s available on the internet, several small business owners have chosen to lean on forums to gain a legal education and tackle problems on their own. That’s a bad idea.
Lawyers go to school for years to understand the ins and outs of the law. Purporting to know what lawyers do via browsing web pages for a few hours is not only naive but can create serious problems for you as you manage legal challenges.
Finding a Business Lawyer Doesn’t Have to Be a Big Commitment
There is a misconception when it comes to hiring a business lawyer that you have to pay them around the clock. For most small business owners, being preemptive in finding an attorney to call should you run into issues and developing a rapport with them over a free consultation is enough.
We hope we’ve sold you on the virtues of why you need a relationship with a business lawyer. If you’d like additional insight on more of life’s biggest questions, check out the newest content on our blog!