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Every year, around 20 million civil cases go through the American court system. Half of these cases comprise employment and contract disputes involving businesses.
Starting a business isn’t easy, and unless you factor in legal or contractual bumps ahead, it’ll only get harder. A small business attorney, therefore, becomes an incredible part of your startup’s arsenal for dispute resolution and compliance.
Keep reading for five core reasons that make a compelling case for you to hire a business attorney.
What’s a Business Attorney?
Simply put, a business attorney is a kind of attorney that offers legal services to businesses regarding operations and regulations.
A competent business attorney will offer numerous beneficial services to your small business in almost every area. From zoning issues, intellectual property matters to how to start a business, you will continuously need legal advice.
When you hire a reliable business attorney, it’s like bringing on board a business partner knowledgeable in the law. They will see you through present legal issues and help you watch for those coming on the horizon.
Why Your Start-Up Needs a Small Business Attorney
For many people starting a business, a lawyer doesn’t seem like a critical investment to make at the time. However, some salient reasons dispute that approach, and these include:
1. Helps You Set up Your Start-Up Properly
When you are starting out with a new business, it’s easy to get lost in the big picture of things. Developing a strategy and looking for capital might seem more exciting than complying with legal processes.
However, without conforming to these processes, your business won’t get very far before existential issues arise.
Long before you open your doors, you’ll have to ask yourself what kind of business structure can best work for you. That’s because for every business structure out there, there are legal and tax considerations that come with it.
Partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs) must register with the state. There are critical legal documents you need to file when creating such entities. These include a partnership agreement and an LLC operating document, among others.
Additionally, an LLC has tax expectations you need to be aware of and meet to avoid the wrath of the government. Hiring a business attorney to walk you through all these options, requirements, and obligations is critical to the survival of your start-up.
If you plan to form an S corporation, it must be registered with the state as well. You must develop by-laws and other necessary documents due to the more complex structure.
When it comes to taxation, you will need to start as a corporation before selecting an S corporation status with the internal revenue service (IRS).
2. Help You Comply With Safety Standards
Hiring a business attorney is critical in uncovering all the rules and regulations you’ll need to comply with.
In the unfortunate event that an employee or visitor suffers damage or injury, you will be able to show how you took relevant compliance measures.
More importantly, if you do end up in court, a business attorney can recommend (and work with) a reliable personal injury attorney to help you dispatch the matter expeditiously.
3. Look Over Contracts
Over the life of your start-up, you will draft and sign numerous contracts and other legal documents. A contract that protects your firm’s interests is one that likely contains relevant clauses and other legal content.
Every time you want to append your signature to an agreement, you will need a business lawyer to uncover the fine print. The devil in the details will help you assess whether you go with the contract or not, and it only takes one slip up to jeopardize your firm.
A business attorney can also negotiate contracts for you with other parties and ensure you meet due diligence standards.
4. Dispute Resolution
Once your business becomes operational, you’ll quickly learn that disagreements with partners are inevitable.
Maybe it’s a supplier that fails to deliver as per the contract. Or it’s a client who feels you did not provide the service or product to their expectations. No matter the reason, you will encounter disputes where you need a business attorney’s guidance.
Regardless of the nature of each business dispute, you can either have it mediated, go for arbitration, and if all else fails to go to court.
If you opt for mediation to settle any dispute you have, you will need the help of your attorney to shape the contents of the mediation clause.
Furthermore, a business attorney can help you draw out any long term legal implications of proposed solutions through mediation for you to determine if they offer the best value.
When mediation isn’t an option or doesn’t work, and you need to head for arbitration, you need an attorney to help navigate the process.
A business attorney will help you look through the language of the arbitration agreement and help you assess its impact.
If all else fails, you will need litigation to help settle your dispute. A business attorney can represent you in a court of law and argue for your side of the story.
If there’s any evidence you need to collect, your business attorney will help you do so. To add to that, the attorney will also be instrumental in assessing the evidence to determine how to best proceed with your case.
5. Help Wind Down the Business Properly
The last thing founders of a start-up think about is dissolution. However, you must have a dissolution roadmap from the get-go.
A business attorney can help you map out potential dissolution scenarios from their years of experience. That then gives you room to cover your downside by anticipating as many events as you can that might trigger dissolution.
When it’s time to wind down the business, you will need an attorney to help file the necessary documentation with the government. In addition, a business attorney can help you distribute any remaining assets equitably once you close your doors.
Keep Your Business Attorney Close
Your start-up will conduct many transactions and deal with various parties, inevitably leading to disputes. As such, it’s crucial to retain a small business attorney to help you resolve conflicts and remain compliant. Forecast the legal and operational needs your start-up will have to help you hire the attorney who is the right fit.
Do you thirst for more information on business and/or how it intersects with the law? Check out our other post for high-value ideas and insights to empower you to grow your organization.