Starting a small business is a lot of work. In addition to finding a place to operate, hiring employees and advertising, you must also pick a name, register your company with the state and, in many cases, obtain a license. You are probably wondering if it is worth your while to hire a business attorney to help you with everything. The truth is, you may not be able to afford not to hire a lawyer.
There are a few steps involved in setting up a company that you can take care of yourself. You can select a name for your business and make sure that no one else has the name, by doing a basic trademark search online. It is also easy to pick a domain name for your website on your own. You should also be able to obtain a license by yourself if it is necessary. However, there are a few things where using an attorney will help you in the long run.
Choosing a Structure
When you first start a business, you must choose a legal structure. You must decide if you want your company to be a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation, a corporation, or a non-profit. A business attorney who is well-versed in your state’s tax laws will be able to advise you as to which structure will save you the most money and protect your personal assets.
Contracts for Customers and Clients
Do you think you can create an impenetrable contract that you can use with customers, clients and independent contractors by yourself? A professional attorney will have the experience and training it takes to know every detail that should go into an air-tight contract. Lawsuits and losses happen when businesses and customers do not understand one another. A professionally written contract can help to avoid any confusion.
Buy and Sell Agreements
If you are buying or selling a business, you want to make sure that everything that might possibly go wrong is covered in the written agreement that you have with them. Chances are, you have not had as much experience with businesses changing hands as a professional attorney. It takes legal training and years of experience to know exactly what details a solid buy agreement should include.
Lawsuits Against the Company
It is always important to use an attorney in the event that an employee tries to sue you. An attorney can help you write arbitration agreements and advise you about at-will employment laws in your state. They can help you write up agreements between you and employees that will clearly define your company’s policies on issues such as sexual harassment, race discrimination, and ageism. If an employee does take you to court, they will be able to do the necessary research and make the most effective arguments to win your case.
You may also need an attorney if a state or federal entity tries to investigate you for the violation of any law. For example, if you have a personal care product and the FTC investigates you for false advertising, you may not have the tool kit to defend yourself in court. A trained attorney can look at the language of your advertisements and build a solid defense based on similar cases. They will have a greater understanding of the law than an average business person and understand how to negotiate with government entities.
Building a business is hard work. You deserve the assistance of an attorney who will help you protect your investment and let you realize your dream. You can get more information here.