If you plan to open a small business, you have to understand the legal impact of your decisions in order to be successful. You might be thinking that the only way you will need to hire legal help is if you encounter some type of lawsuit or claim, but the truth is there are many important reasons to invest in professional services outside of the courtroom as well.
Proper Structuring of Your Business
Although it might seem easy to choose a foundational structure for your business, it is best to allow a lawyer to walk you through the details of each option. Here are some of the most common business structures used by entrepreneurs, each of which has its own downfalls and advantages.
- Choosing a sole proprietorship means fewer resources for financing, which may place your personal assets at risk, but it grants you complete control of all decisions.
- A general partnership allows you to share the responsibilities of ownership with more than one person. Likewise, a limited partnership involves general partners as well, but limited partners act only as silent investors.
- Corporations pay double taxes on earnings, but any debt that accrues is not associated with your own. In terms of liability and regulation, a corporation also requires more in-depth accounting services to track income and expenses.
- A limited liability company (LLC) is a fusion of a partnership and a corporation. An LLC can have an unlimited number of shareholders as well.
Evaluation of Professional Contracts
Throughout your career as a small business owner, you will probably encounter many different types of contracts for services and equipment. By hiring legal help, you can tackle technical jargon easily and communicate your thoughts on updates or revisions before making any serious commitments. Never give consent to any arrangement without asking your lawyer to review the terms of the agreement first.
Protection of Intellectual Property
Establishing a unique identity for your brand and carving your own niche in the market is no small feat by today’s standards. That is why intellectual property rights exist to preserve the reputation of your business and prevent others from using your name, slogan or logo to make false accusations or conduct sales. Hiring an attorney can simplify the process of applying for patents, trademarks and copyrights to eliminate potential conflicts over intellectual property.
Obligations to Your Employees
As a business owner, it is important to consider the legal and financial aspects of hiring employees. Whether you have one part-time assistant or a handful of helpful staff, you must be prepared to follow proper procedures for compensation and update your insurance coverage to reflect the number of people you employ. A lawyer can assist you with the various paperwork and procedures for
- Recruitment and training
- Vacation payments and sick leave
- Termination and retirement
- Accidents or injuries
- Work-related expenses or reimbursement
Collecting Funds and Payments
Depending on the type of business you own, you may have to designate some of your legal funding to collecting payments from new and existing clients. However, strict laws and regulations apply in most states, so hiring legal help for this task is ultimately the best decision for small business owners. The cost of collection services varies greatly, but paralegals often offer a significant discount if you are pursuing an amount that is less than $25,000. In addition, a lawyer can guide you through the subsequent process of suggesting a settlement or filing a claim in small claims court.
No matter how much you would like to save money on the legal and financial details of owning a small business, investing in legal help is one decision you will never regret. Don’t spend unnecessary time pouring over technical documents. Only a professional can provide the level of accuracy and detail that you need.
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.