Your business may be classified as small, but it's everything to you! You have poured yourself into it and know it inside and out.
And while you may be an expert in your business field, chances are you may not be an expert in the law. That's why having an experienced small business lawyer on your side is a good idea.
Don't wait until you are in a jam or have been sued. A good lawyer can help prevent those from even happening at all.
Read on for 5 benefits of a small business lawyer.
1. A Doctor for Your Business
You depend on a family doctor to keep you healthy and live a long life. Think of a lawyer as a doctor for your business.
It is their job to protect your dream and livelihood and keep it operating at top capacity while avoiding unnecessary lawsuits and drawn-out legal proceedings.
They will help organize the business structure to best suit your long-term objectives. Do you want a partnership or sole proprietorship? Do you need an LLC, or should you form a corporation?
There are risks, liabilities, tax implications, financial considerations, and other legal matters depending on which route you choose. It pays to have someone with legal experience to help make the right decision.
Your personal small business lawyer will continue to monitor your business model to keep all aspects running smoothly.
2. A Contract Specialist
Almost every decision made regarding your business from day one will involve some type of contract, from customers to suppliers to employees.
Unfortunately, the days of handling details with just a firm handshake are a thing of the past. It is in your best interest and your dream business to have everything in writing and legally correct.
You want to be fair with your employees, but you must protect your business. Non-disclosure or non-compete agreements may be needed to keep your business secrets and plans from falling into outside hands.
Vendors are your lifeline and require mutual respect and the flow of information. There are also times when a well-worded contract by a skilled small business attorney will save you both time and valuable money in keeping your business afloat and profitable.
3. To Defend Intellectual Property
If your business is the product of years of dreaming, planning, thinking, and ideas, then the final achievement is your intellectual property. The last thing you need is someone to steal your concept and claim it as their own.
Inventions, logos, designs, software, brand name, original productions, and even services are considered your intellectual property. To protect them, you might need copyrights to register trademarks or even patents.
Don't risk losing all your hard work by not taking action to protect them. And don't trust just anyone with this information. Your small business lawyer knows how to preserve this data and knowledge.
4. For Your Real Estate Ventures
Maybe you started your business from your basement or living room, and it's time to expand. Or maybe you want to start the gate in a brick-and-mortar building.
Whatever your real estate needs are, make sure you have an attorney in your corner. Leases and other agreements have a lot of fine print but are still often negotiable. Don't get caught in a situation you can't get out of.
From start-up to moving up, your small business lawyer will have your real estate needs covered.
5. To Help Arrange an Exit Strategy
Few businesses are run and maintained solely by one person. Whether you have partners or shareholders, there will come a time when someone wants out.
Even under good circumstances, there are still legalities and financial impacts involved when someone leaves. A business attorney negotiates buy-back or buy-sell agreements so everyone is covered and the business still has the capital to operate.
How to Pick the Best Small Business Lawyer for Your Business
Now that you have answered the question should my business have a lawyer, your next step is to find the best one for you. Here are some things to consider.
There are many levels of legal services you will need with your small business. Make sure the attorney you choose is experienced in each of them.
You don't want to have to hire multiple lawyers to do multiple jobs. Find one who can help you with all your needs.
Their Knowledge of Your Type of Business
All businesses are not created (or run) equally. There is not a one-size-fits-all legal approach either.
Your small business lawyer is also your partner. They should be knowledgeable about the type of business you run. This helps them keep up to date on all related laws, potential road bumps, and how to help plan for your future.
While you want your attorney to cover all your legal bases, they may come when they need to reach out for additional help or resources.
A well-established lawyer will have a network of connections. This will enable them to bring someone in to help that they know and trust.
Simply put, can you see yourself working with them? You will not see them every day, but you must be able to get along when a need does arise.
They should be approachable, easy to reach, and dependable. Your business's needs must be a priority, and dealing with them should be pleasant and not another chore.
As with any valuable resource, your small business lawyer is a financial investment. However, you owe it to your bottom line to understand their fees and payment structure.
Perhaps you want to pay per project as needed. Others may opt to have their attorney on retainer. This is a negotiation process that both parties need to agree on for the benefit of both.
Don't Risk Your Life's Dream
From the first day, you thought about starting your own business; everything has led to this point. Don't risk all that time, money, and effort by not being prepared and represented.
A small business lawyer will be by your side through the ups and downs and will always work to have your best interests in mind. From contracts to protecting your brand to keeping you out of the courtroom, they do their job so you can focus on yours.
Here at De Bruin Law Firm, we are a full-service law office dedicated to making our clients a priority. We specialize in business law and would love the opportunity to work with you.
Reach out today for more information on our services.