We are all too familiar with the high stakes of following the law when you start a business or even operate one. It is like an unspoken rule of thumb that before opening any type of business, you need backing from an accountant and a lawyer. This may be off-putting to some people because it presents added costs. But these costs may end up saving you in the long run – this article will shortly explain why a business lawyer is very important, and a non-negotiable should you find yourself in a legal battle. You’d even be surprised that a business lawyer can provide verification of military service before court should you need it.
Working with a boutique law firm can help you with all the paperwork, taxation requirements and incorporation. You can work with legal experts on various aspects of your budgeting, construction contracts as well as for seeking regulatory compliance. This ensures that your business does not have run-ins with the law at any point of time. All this means that you can safely concentrate on growing your business, without having to worry about any legal issues at all.
It is usually obvious why businesses hire an accountant early on. Handling accounts and filing taxes is critical with operating a business so people usually do not think twice about this. However, hiring a business lawyer off the bat is not the typical move.
People do not think they need one until it’s too late, like if the business is being sued already, dealing with liabilities, copyright issues, you name it. A good business lawyer will provide vital assistance for any professional business – zoning compliance, copyright and trademark, lawsuits, contracts, etc.
Here are the tips we can give for the basic services and skills your business lawyer should provide. Lawyers are becoming more specialized through the years so you definitely need a thorough check of their experience and skills before hiring them.
Things to Look Out for With Hiring a Business Lawyer
Familiarity With Legal Paperwork
Your lawyer should be able to understand your business quickly and prepare standard contracts with customers, clients, partners. Likewise they should assist you regarding contracts that external parties want you to sign.
If you are open to hiring a lawyer prior to starting out, this is ideal. They can help you decide what kind of business (corporation, cooperative, limited liability company or LLC, among others) is the best path for you. Other than that, your business lawyer can work hand in hand with your account when it comes to taxes and licenses. They can assist you with registering your business for federal and state tax identification numbers which are very crucial. You can also turn to should you need to consult with an expert about tax documents – we all know this can be very tricky, and all the more so in a start-up business.
Knowledge of Real Estate Requirements
Commercial spaces for lease or rent are getting competitive as the years go by and more businesses open up. If you need to rent a space for inventory or retail, be careful because the contracts are tricky and often in the favor of the landlord especially in the bigger and more popular cities. Have your lawyer check these documents and make negotiations so that you can likewise benefit from the space you intend to pay for.
Updated With Intellectual Property Laws
Today’s society operates with a lot of room for intellectual property theft and plagiarism. Business in media, design, or creatives might want to register their products for trademark and copyright protection. You can read more about this from the entrepreneur website here. Other than that, you may end up outsourcing people whose background you are not familiar with. Your business lawyer can help with verification of military service if you need it. There are legal processes to go about with an accurate verification of military service for whatever reasons and you may want to check that your lawyer is able to do this, too.
Impressive Communication Skills
This seems like a no-brainer when hiring somebody but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Policies and regulations can get complicated and you will want someone who can explain things to you in the best way possible.
- When scouting for a business lawyer, consider asking relevant questions like the following:
- Are you well-connected?
- What are your billing procedures?
- Are you currently handling clients in the same industry?
Their answers to questions like these will come in handy for the future of your business. Being well-connected means they know trustworthy people who can assist you for problems that are outside of their area of expertise. Realistically speaking, you can’t expect one lawyer to know everything about the law. There is a big advantage in having a network of consultants about legal matters so you don’t have to go searching for one every time something new comes up. It is also best to know their billing procedures (per diem, retainer’s fee, etc.) before signing any contract. Lastly, while lawyers are bound to confidentiality, you would want to be informed if they are working for your competitor rather than have this be exposed later on once they are already knee-deep in your business.
Generally, hiring a business lawyer will be a big help. It is better to shell out the costs early on rather than end up paying negotiation fees in the long run when your business finds itself in hot waters.
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