Whether you're considering opening your own business or are a brick-and-mortar store that's been in business for decades, you need an attorney as a small business. You know everything about your business niche. You may understand everything needed to run your business. However, many legal matters likely exist outside your expertise.
You never know when you'll need legal advice. Don't wait until the court paperwork shows up at your door to retain a business attorney. You may need access at a moment's notice.
We'll examine the many reasons why you need an attorney to help with your new or existing business.
A Small Business Attorney Helps with Employee Issues
If you're a business that has employees, then you need someone to help you with legal issues relating to employment. From the start of the employment relationship, you may need help determining wage and hour issues such as whether a worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor and whether you must pay the worker overtime or company benefits.
A lawyer serving small business can help you with the hiring and termination process. Agreements and company forms can be prepared concerning confidentiality and appropriate handling of the employer's commercially valuable information, compliance with relevant security rules and policies, and protection of the employer's intellectual property assets.
Every so often, a small business will face employment issues. You should have contracts with your employees outlining the responsibilities of both the employer and the employee. Contract law is complex and unless you're expertly familiar with it, you'll need someone to help create the contract and forms to set expectations and provide for resolution of employment issues.
Questions About Liability
Business owners seem to have no problem hiring accountants and insurance agents for their business, but they're often hesitant about business attorneys. If you're starting a new business, you'll need liability insurance in case anyone is injured or something else unexpected happens at the business.
You provide a product or service, but you need protection should an injury or damage occur. Insurance can help, but if a claim or lawsuit is involved, then you want an attorney to be at your side. An attorney is there for you before a civil lawsuit to help you navigate your insurance coverage.
The insurance company has a cadre of lawyers that look out for them. They'll leave you high and dry if possible, so have a professional in your corner.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Many businesses start because they've developed a product or service that is new and unique to them. Before you open your business, you need someone to help you apply for the patents and make sure your trade secrets and copyrights are air-tight.
The last thing you want is a copycat business opening and discovering you inadvertently created a loophole that allows them to steal your intellectual property. There are other aspects of your business that need protection also including your logo and business name.
A lawyer keeps you safe from copycats trying to steal your thunder. If you discover someone using your name or products, a lawyer knowledgable in business law goes after them to stop selling the product and introduces legal action if they don't.
Hiring New Employees
Small businesses usually start as a single-person operation. You create the business and spend most of your time handling the day-to-day activities with the goal of growth. When the growth comes and you need additional help, a business lawyer works with you to handle all the necessary paperwork and documentation.
An accountant can make sure the taxes are taken out of their paycheck, but you need to know the ins and out of hiring employees and independent contractors. You don't want to discover you aren't in compliance with local, state, and federal employment laws.
The more employees you hire, the more complicated it becomes. A business attorney is there with you from the start and stays with you as you grow and expand.
Work with You on Banking
Your accountant can handle the day-to-day money activities, but they don't know what kind of bank account you should get. Businesses require numerous bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts to run properly.
A business attorney knows what you need so everything is orderly come tax time. They can help you determine what credit avenues are best for your business and methods to keep your business finances separate from your personal ones.
Taxes are complicated for businesses. When the time comes to do taxes, you want everything to run smoothly. Business attorneys are there for you and, if someone goes wrong, they can help you deal with the IRS or other governing bodies.
Startup Legal Requirements
Starting a business isn't as easy as creating an idea and renting a space. Before you begin developing your business strategy, contact a business attorney to determine all the hoops you need to go through on a local, state, and federal level.
You need to register your business with several governing bodies, fill out lots of paperwork, and in some states publish your intent to do business in the local newspaper. A business attorney is familiar with these requirements, so they know what needs to be done to operate within the law.
They handle the bulk of the paperwork and filing while you concentrate on getting your business started. You purchase your inventory and look for that perfect location while your lawyer takes care of the red tape.
If you don't follow the laws to the letter, you may encounter problems opening your business. So, hire a lawyer to make sure that doesn't happen.
Hiring a Business Lawyer Makes Sense
Creating and running your own business is difficult on the best of days. Without a small business attorney to help you through the legal hoops you must jump through, it can seem almost impossible.
The goal of a business lawyer is to protect you through thick and thin. They help with disputes, tax issues, negotiations, and much more. If you're interested in learning more about creating your own business or hiring a business lawyer, then please contact our team today.