Business lawyers are important to business big and small.
Running a small business requires team: An accountant. An insurance agent. A mentor. A business partner (maybe).
A business attorney? Absolutely.
Here are five scenarios in which a business lawyer is crucial to a company’s success.
1. Deciding How to Structure a Business
As a small business owner, one of the first things you have to do is decide how to structure it. Consulting with a business attorney gives you the guidance to determine whether you want to create a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, or nonprofit. This decision affects your tax obligations, setup fees and ongoing expenses, which is why it should not be taken lightly. In addition, a lawyer can help you file the necessary documents.
2. NEGOTIATING, Drafting + ENTERING INTO a Contract
Chances of entering a contract while in business are high. An attorney can help you draft a clear and concise contract, ensure that there are no vague terms, keep your best business interests at heart, and add any additional language you may need. If the other party breaches the contract, an attorney can show you your options and prevent you from doing anything to harm your chances at recovering compensation.
3. HANDLING Employee Issues
Employee-related issues are a big reason you may need a lawyer. Whether you hire employees or use independent contractors, there are specific laws you must adhere to like the timeliness and method of payment. If you work with an independent contractor, you must draft a work agreement, which a lawyer should review. Also, it’s best if you consult with an attorney before hiring or firing anyone so that you don’t put yourself at risk of being put in a lawsuit.
4. COMPLIANCE WITH GOVERNMENT STANDARDS & REGULATIONS
The government – federal, state and local levels – sets standards and regulations in which all businesses must comply. The standards and regulations include but are not limited to environmental, transportation, licensing, zoning, codes, food and waste, and employment issues. Business attorneys are crucial to companies’ success, as not complying with government regulations can be the downfall of even the best companies.
5. Selling or Buying A BUSINESS
If you’re buying a business, an attorney can help you with the more complex aspects of the transaction, such as the purchase agreements and permits and licenses. If you sell a business, an attorney can help you get the most value for your company, help vet buyers, and play a role in negotiations.
And if you haven’t heard, business is booming in Nashville!