Lawyers are one of the most expensive things you can put your money towards in a business. Talented attorneys know what they’re worth, so they charge a hefty hourly fee and make a good profit. That leads many business owners to neglect to hire an attorney.
However, doing this isn’t always the best choice. There are times when a lawyer’s advice can make a big difference in a decision your company makes.
Knowing when to hire a business lawyer is critical if you want your startup to be a success. Below are the times when hiring a business lawyer makes sense.
Business Structure Issues
Business structures aren’t always complicated. You probably won’t need much if you’re on your own and don’t plan to hire employees. A simple LLC or S-Corp will be enough.
But things won’t be as easy if you want to build a larger company or have more people involved. You’ll need the proper legal structure to flesh out all the details and ensure everyone is covered.
A business lawyer is vital in this situation. They’ll walk you through all your options and help you handle all the paperwork.
You Need Contracts
Contracts are the backbone of the business world. They are what holds every party accountable. An employee, partner, and employer must follow the terms or be called out in court.
However, you must be sure that you cover yourself with your contracts. If you aren’t explicit about everything, you may miss something that puts your company at risk.
A business lawyer can help examine your contracts and iron out the details. You won’t need to worry about dealing with contract issues because you missed a minor detail.
You Want to Raise Money
There is much to consider when you want to get financing for your company. Things are more complicated than simple personal loans and credit cards. You have many legal issues to consider when you go through the process.
Having a lawyer guide you through the process can be invaluable. This is especially true if you plan to give equity away during the fundraising. You want to ensure you draft the deal correctly to ensure everyone gets value from the arrangement.
This is easy to mess up and can cost you a deal if done incorrectly.
You Have Intellectual Property
Some companies can get by not having anything unique. They offer products and services that are always in demand, so they can make money by making themselves well-known.
However, things are different if you want to offer something new. You have a unique product that offers a new way of doing things. But you have to protect yourself to stop copycats from stealing your ideas.
Intellectual property lawyers are the solution to this problem. They’ll help you file trademarks, copyrights, and patents for your work. As a result, you can launch your product successfully and not worry as much about competitors stealing your product ideas.
Someone Sues You
Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone in a business. Whether you harm someone by accident or someone is out to get you and tries to take your company down, you may run into situations when your business gets sued.
Whether the lawsuit has merit or not, it’s something you don’t want to handle alone. You can say the wrong thing and wreck your defensive case, costing your business a lot of money.
You shouldn’t rule out hiring a business lawyer to help with this situation. A lawyer will be able to find the flaws in the case and do everything possible to minimize the damage from the suit.
You’re Dealing With Compliance
You have many legal requirements in business. The government wants you to take care of protected data, do business ethically, and follow the rules.
However, not all of those rules are easy to understand.
Working with an attorney is vital to avoid breaking the law. There are many industry attorneys available who can walk you through what you need to know about your industry.
They will help ensure you follow all the rules to ensure you don’t need to worry about a government audit.
You Merge Companies
Company mergers aren’t uncommon in the business world. Instead of competing with another business, you decide to come together and create a larger company.
However, mergers are complicated processes. You want to ensure everyone gets a good deal and fair compensation if they exit the business.
A lawyer will help you get the best deal possible. They will work with you to handle the financial implications of the acquisition. As a result, you’ll grow your company, gain new employees, and have more customers.
You’re Ready to Sell
Not everyone wants to be in business forever. They want to build up a reputable company worth a lot of money but eventually sell once the time is right.
A business sale is a complex procedure. You’re dealing with many complicated finances, egos, and other factors during the sale. The last thing you want is to make the wrong move and ruin your company’s valuation.
A lawyer will help you get the most value from your business. From there, you can take it easy and move on to the next stage of your life.
Don’t Wait to Hire a Business Lawyer
Whether you don’t know what type of company to form or you have something you must protect, hiring a business lawyer is your best option in most situations. Excellent legal advice will set you on the right path and provide the protection your company needs.
But it’s not always easy to understand when hiring a startup lawyer makes sense. Remember the situations above if you’re ever stuck and don’t know if you need legal help.
Head back to the blog to find more tips that will make running a startup easier.