Owning or starting a new business can be challenging if you do not have the right team to help you navigate the tough process. While you may be able to handle most of the basic business matters on your own, there can still be issues that will require an attorney’s professional assistance.
Some of the problems and questions that business owners face may pertain to legal matters, such as litigations and disputes that cannot be addressed without using the services of a competent business attorney.
Getting the right legal advice is necessary to understand the consequences of your actions on the business, protect your business interests, and avoid legal problems and the financial losses that may ensue. Unfortunately, not all companies and startups get or seek the right legal advice to protect themselves on all fronts.
A report by the Legal Services Board found that small businesses and enterprises lose approximately £9.79 billion every year due to legal problems. Their survey of 9,703 small businesses also found that only 6.4 percent of the businesses had a qualified attorney to handle the company’s legal matters.
Given these figures, it is clear that inadequate legal support severely impacts a company’s profitability and bottom line. Therefore, it is necessary for businesses, small and large alike, to get adequate legal advice in order to resolve legal issues and keep the business up and running.
Below, we outline some of the ways in which a professional attorney can handle the legal complexities of a business and help it thrive in the long run.
While anyone can incorporate and start a simple business (like a single-owner LLC) on their own, it is not an ideal choice for every business. Businesses with multiple owners and which operates across several states require professional help regarding the right corporate structure and understand the laws and legal documents concerning the business.
An attorney should be consulted sooner than later to make the right business decisions and avoid compliance issues and disputes among the owners.
Protecting your IP:
Businesses have several assets, both tangible and intangible, and they need to take proper steps to protect them. Everything, including the company’s brand name, client lists, and product plans, are all assets that need to be kept under wraps.
A competent attorney can protect your copyright, trademark, patent registration, and other important information. With a confidentiality agreement, commonly referred to as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), lawyers can protect your valuable information from unfortunate breaches.
Costly lawsuits and unforeseen incidents can also bring catastrophic consequences to your business. A professional attorney can help you protect your property and financial assets in case of lawsuits and injuries to your customers or employees at the workplace.
Navigating your taxes and complying with the tax laws is a challenging part of running a business. A business attorney can guide you about the concerned laws, due dates, filing deadlines and help you avoid potential issues with taxation. They can also help you develop a system that can save you valuable cash on deductions and credits.
Your attorney can also help you structure your business in a way that will reduce your tax burden. When hiring a corporate attorney, it is advised to choose someone familiar with the state laws in which the business is operating. For instance, if you are running a business in Plano, Texas, it’s wise to choose a business tax attorney in Plano to advise you and represent your business legally.
It can be difficult for business owners to keep themselves updated about the laws concerning employment. Since these laws are often evolving, it is advised to get legal guidance to ensure that everything goes smoothly. From hiring to firing an employee, you need to make sure that you follow the state law to avoid accusations of unlawful termination.
A professional business attorney can create a contract that outlines what is expected of your employees. It can set clear expectations for employees that will guarantee a smooth working relationship. The contract shall clearly state the compensation, vacation, and any other benefits that they will receive.
Having all this well-documented and explained to the employees will help you avoid numerous employee questions and issues. You can also work with a corporate lawyer to create a manual or handbook that outlines your business employment policies.
The departure of a business partner or owner can leave a company in trouble. When an exit is on the horizon, a company’s future can be uncertain, especially if the departing shareholder has a considerable interest in the company.
In such a case, the remaining partners need to settle the shareholder’s interest in the company so that the company can proceed smoothly. A professional attorney can handle all the legal entanglements without the company facing any financial burden.
Every business, no matter how big or small, encounters issues that compel them to go to court. Having a competent attorney by your side and fighting your business interest can result in the best possible outcome for your business.
Most of the time, conflicts can be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. However, there are times when legal action becomes necessary. It is crucial for business owners to keep their lawyers informed of any trouble that the business might be facing. This will help the attorney to prepare the case better should it head to the court.
Follow the law:
Running a business is not easy. There are contracts to be made, rules to be followed, and laws to comply with. Having a business attorney by your side can ensure that your business complies with all the laws applicable to your business. Ignorance of the laws cannot be used as a defense to avoid costly litigation.
While you may not need an attorney to guide you at every step of running your business, planning for potential problems beforehand is crucial for your business. As a business owner, you may be able to navigate some matters, but there are legal issues where you will need professional assistance.
It is always a prudent to think ahead and seek legal help before it is too late.