When Should A Small Business Hire an Attorney?

Many small businesses overlook the importance of hiring a business attorney thinking it will be too expensive or that they can handle the issues on their own, however the sooner you consult with an experienced business lawyer the better. No matter how small, most businesses need a lawyer at some point, whether it’s to help get the company started or to help with legal battles down the line.

Be Proactive

Lawsuits can be costly for businesses, so most companies hire a business lawyer before they need one. If you wait until your company is in a legal battle to hire an attorney, it might be too late, and you will end up paying more in litigation costs. Experienced business lawyers  are valuable to help negotiate disputes prior to litigation and can also help you negotiate contracts to prevent disputes down the road.

When Might a Small Business Need an Attorney?

The best time to consult with a business lawyer is right away.  When your company is facing issues such as contract disputes, lease negotiations, employee or contractor issues, financial stresses due to natural disasters, pandemics, slow-down in business, vendor issues, what to do with personal guarantees on loans or leases, etc.

New Businesses

For businesses just getting started, business lawyers can take owners through the basics of setting up their company. Many people dive head-first into starting a business only to get overwhelmed with the fine print of the law and the sheer amount of time it takes to get a business up and running, from concept and business plan to incorporation and financing choices, when to be a personal guarantor and when to obtain a line of credit versus incurring personal credit card debt to finance start-up costs.

Trying to start a business entirely on your own is stressful and time consuming, so business lawyers help relieve some of that stress by offering expertise to put the business owner’s mind at ease.

Some areas where business lawyers can help emerging companies include:

  • Business Structure. A lawyer can help you choose the best business structure and can reduce or limit owner liability for your company, which will affect how your business runs day-to-day.
  • Intellectual Property. A business lawyer can help you avoid copyright or patent debacles.
  • Contracts. A skilled business lawyer can take care of contract administration and can negotiate contracts on your behalf.
  • Employee relations. A business lawyer can help you make the best hires and make sure your employment contracts comply with the law.
  • Risk mitigation. Hiring an attorney experienced in business law can help mitigate various legal risks involving contractual relationships, hiring and firing employees, compliance with laws and regulations and numerous other areas.

Established Businesses

As mentioned, hiring a business lawyer early on can help companies prevent lawsuits. But should your business be caught up in one, your business lawyer can fight for you and the sooner you consult with an attorney the better your chances of limiting potential loss and expense.

Instances where established companies might need a lawyer include:

  • Breach of contract. If a party fails to uphold their end of a contract, a business lawyer can help you file suit.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty. Broadly speaking, fiduciary means loyalty. If a party acts in a manner that is not in your company’s best interest, a business lawyer can help you discipline the individual and file a lawsuit if desired.
  • Fraud and embezzlement. You can’t watch your employees 24/7. If your company experiences fraud, your lawyer can represent you in court.

Call us Today

Whether you are an established business or just starting, our team of experienced professionals can provide you with the legal counsel you need to succeed. From contract drafting to litigation, our attorneys will help your business run smoothly every step of the way.  

If your business needs legal representation, don’t wait. Contact our team today at (443) 539-8712

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