In business, mistakes can be expensive and as an entrepreneur, although you’ll know many of the regulations that apply to your business, there are so many you can’t possibly remember all of them. Depending on the type of business you run, you could face laws regarding taxation, employment, product liability, premises liability, discrimination, health and safety and a variety of other regulations.
Keeping on top of all the laws that affect you and the changes to those laws, while still being mindful of all the other aspects involved in running a business, is almost impossible.
That’s why you need legal help. A legal professional can identify the various rules and regulations that apply to your business and advise you on how to operate within those laws. They can also help you draw up important contracts that could prevent legal action in the future and they can prepare a case in the unfortunate event that you wind up facing or filing a lawsuit.
Here are three reasons you need a professional to help.
In the early stages of your business, they can help you make vital decisions and understand the consequences of those decisions. Is your business going to incorporate? Do you know what that means from a legal standpoint compared with the other business entities? Do you understand the difference between hiring employees or working with contractors? If you hire employees, do you understand the employment laws surrounding hiring and firing?
Law experts understand each of those and can explain how they affect your business. They can help you make an informed decision that is in the best interests of your organization and protects you in the future.
At some point, your business will enter into contracts. Whether those are employment contracts with employees, service contracts with clients, or business agreements with other partners, you will need legally-binding documents to protect yourself.
Not all contracts are easy to read or understand, and some may have clauses that are downright confusing. They will help determine if the contract is in your best interest and if there are inclusions that you need to know about—such as whether parts of the contract can be assigned to third parties or how you can terminate the agreement. They can also revise the contract or make changes to anything you deem problematic.
If you’re the one drawing up the contract, getting a qualified legal opinion can ensure the contract represents your needs and goals.
When you own a small business, there’s always a chance you’ll wind up in litigation. You could have a dissatisfied customer or angry former employee. Maybe you need to file a lawsuit because someone else is infringing on your trademark or copyright.
Usually there are steps you can take in those situations before filing or facing an expensive lawsuit, and a lawyer can help you navigate those steps, possibly avoiding the cost of going to court. If you do wind up in court and you already have legal representation, that person will be familiar with your business, which makes representing you that much easier.
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs wait until it’s too late before they look for help. They wait until a lawsuit has been filed, or they need to file a lawsuit. A lawyer can advise you of ways to avoid those situations in the first place, saving you unnecessary legal expenses in the long run.
Yes, attorneys cost money. The benefits of having one, however, far outweighs the expenses. They will not only advise you on business decisions and contracts that protect your business in the future, they will help defend your company, product, or yourself in the case a lawsuit arises, either with you as the plaintiff or as the defendant.