Running a business requires a lot of planning. Even though you may not initially see the need to hire legal counsel until after you’ve established your company, here are 10 reasons why it’s in your best interest to do so before your business is up and running.
Starting a business is no cakewalk. There are so many aspects that need to be taken care of that it can become easy for you to overlook something until it is too late. Consulting with an attorney while your business is still in its formation stages can help you to avoid many of the problems and challenges that other startups encounter so you can get your business up and running faster.
If you’re starting a business with someone, you should work with an attorney to ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as ownership, rights and expectations. Failure to do so can result in legal issues that may negatively impact your business’ success.
3. Names, Copyrights and Trademarks
Choosing the right business name can be a process all in itself, especially because there are so many copyrights, trademarks and entities around. Your attorney can keep you from choosing the wrong name and to protect the name you choose so that no other company can use it as their own.
4. Legal Structure
One task you can’t neglect is your business’ structure. You have to choose between establishing your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or nonprofit. The option you choose will affect your company’s tax liability and can have serious ramifications on how you acquire funding, manage your expenses and liabilities.
5. Contracts and Nondisclosures
Contracts and NDAs are important to any successful business. Consulting with your attorney about any contracts you receive or want to extend to another party is a good way to ensure you don’t enter into an agreement that puts your business in jeopardy or one that holds you liable. Your attorney can identify clauses and language that are not in the best interest of your company and draft contracts so they are beneficial to your company.
6. Legal Issues
Legal issues such as litigation are an inevitable part of business. No matter what industry you are in or the nature of products and services you provide, complaints and lawsuits are unavoidable. Lawsuits can come from current and former employees, customers, harassment, discrimination, investigations, environmental issues and more.
7. Real Estate
When it comes to leasing commercial space for your business, you should consult with your lawyer before entering into any agreements. Many commercial real estate contracts are written so they benefit the landlord. Your attorney can help to negotiate more favorable terms so that it is more beneficial for you to lease the space of your choosing for a fair price.
Although you will most likely have an accountant, it helps for you to have an attorney you can turn to when registering your business for state and federal identification numbers. They can also keep you abreast of any and all laws and regulations that are applicable to the types of business transactions you’ll be doing to keep your company in compliance with the law.
9. Intellectual Property
It is important for you to protect your products and services at all costs, especially if you are in the media, print, design or advertising sectors. Although there are specialists you can hire to perform this service, you should consider asking your attorney to assist you with it instead. Any creative products and services you offer should be registered so they are protected by copyright and federal trademark laws. Your attorney can then pursue claims against any entities that seek to borrow or use your creations for their own profit and benefit without your permission.
10. Save Money and Time
Businesses have to adhere to many laws and regulations. Your attorney can keep you from making mistakes that could cause your business to be fined or shut down.
Hiring an attorney before you start your business can put you in the best position to succeed for the long-term.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.