How to Know When to Hire a Business Attorney
If you are already in business for yourself, or if you are thinking about starting your own small business, you might have wondered how and when to hire a business attorney. This is something I’ve been wrestling with in my own business lately too.
There are so many legal issues you could run into, not matter what kind of business you run. Plus, when you own a business you may have a hard time deciding which situations warrant extra help and expertise. In general, here are some situations when you might be wise to hire a business attorney.
When Contracts are Involved
Some people would say that with the help of online resources, you should be able to create contracts yourself for just about any situation in which you may need one.
While it’s true that online resources can be helpful in drafting a contract, consider that it could be cheaper in the long run to hire an attorney. A business attorney can help you create a sound contract that protects both you and the other party. If you have a business attorney do this for you, you might be able to use that same contract more than once. But only for the same situation. It’s also cheaper to hire a business attorney to help with a contract than to end up in a costly legal battle.
When You are Being Sued
Once it is clear you are going to be served with a lawsuit, you will need a lawyer on your side. While the best scenario is not to get sued at all, the next best one might be to already have a good relationship with a lawyer. A good business lawyer can help you out of a sticky situation if you land yourself in one. The cost of finding a lawyer to help you once you find yourself in hot water is going to be much higher than if you already have a good rapport with one.
When Dealing with Property
A lease or purchase of property for your business can come with complicated contracts that usually protect the landlord or seller. But, who is looking out for you? It might be a good idea to have a business lawyer look over such documents to ensure your best interests are protected.
In addition, keep in mind that there are other forms of property besides just real estate. When intellectual property is involved, not everything is clear cut. So, having a lawyer on your side could help you when it comes to trademarks, copyrights, and other matters.
When You are Being Investigated
If your business is under investigation due to violating laws, or even a tax audit, you’ll want to get an attorney. Or, if you are being investigated for something an employee accuses you of, such as wrongful firing, an attorney can assist you. They’ll advise you on how to best handle the situation. Prevention of these types of situations is obviously the better way to go. So, you might consider hiring an attorney to help you avoid getting into a situation like this in the first place.
When You Are Selling or Buying a Company
Hiring a lawyer can have a great impact on the success of your business venture. They can guide you through the legalities of a purchase or sale to ensure everything is handled to the letter of the law.
There are many different situations you could come up against as business owner. So, it can be difficult to know when to hire a business attorney. If you think you might need an attorney, it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and hire one to make sure your business is protected.