Running a business requires so much expertise and hiring a lawyer to help you in certain situations can be absolutely crucial.
There are different lawyers for various aspects of business law and who can assist you with a range of different operations, relationships, and problems. Some big companies have a whole team of lawyers on retainer, while smaller businesses will just need to hire a lawyer when a situation arises.
It is very important that you do thorough research on the experience, expertise, and reputation of any lawyers that you are considering.
To help business owners understand some of the services a quality lawyer can provide, here are six reasons your business might need a lawyer.
1. To Form a New Entity
One situation when the knowledge and experience of an expert business lawyer are always useful is when you are forming a new business entity.
A lawyer can advise you on every aspect of the process, from choosing the right business structure, to which tax breaks you are entitled to.
Deciding on the initial business structure, whether that be an LLC, a sole proprietorship, or a corporate structure, will have a huge impact on how your business operates to your legal and financial liabilities.
With a sole proprietorship, for example, you will have full operational autonomy but will also be liable for business losses. An LLC, on the other hand, will mean you have less liability depending on the legal structure of the business.
An experienced business lawyer will be able to explain your legal obligations and the framework for each type of entity and help you to register your business correctly with all the right licenses and approvals.
2. For Lawsuits Against Your Business
There are various lawsuits that might be taken out against your business but one of the most common for many businesses is if an employee suffers a workplace injury. Whether your company was responsible or not, if your injured employee hires an experienced injury law firm to represent them, it can cost you a huge amount of money if you don’t have your own lawyers to counter theirs.
Whilst your employee may well be in the right, that doesn’t mean that you should pay out far more than they are entitled to just because you don’t have the right attorneys representing you. Make sure that whenever you hire any kind of legal representation, you check their success rate in cases that are similar to yours.
3. For Tax Compliance
Tax compliance issues are a massive consideration for all businesses because if you get it wrong, you can put yourself in both legal and financial jeopardy.
The government has no time for businesses not paying their taxes and can come down hard on you, even if it is just an innocent mistake.
Tax rules can be very complicated, particularly for businesses, and trying to negotiate your way through the laws alone can take a lot of time and energy.
An experienced tax lawyer can have you understand the laws and make sure that all your business taxes are paid and in order.
Taxes only need filing once or twice a year so you don’t need to keep your lawyer on retainer, just bring them in when it is time to file.
Many tax lawyers know about certain loopholes which the rest of us don’t know about so they could potentially save you a lot of money.
4. For Legal Issues With Employees
Employees are the most important people for any business and it is paramount that all of your dealings with your workforce are legal and above board.
If you start getting into legal disputes with employees, it can very quickly turn sour, and the reputation of your business can be harmed forever.
Hiring a business lawyer to make sure that everything from labor contracts to working hours and conditions is up to scratch can save you major problems in the future.
You may also need to justify hiring and firing decisions because there are many laws that govern the reasons for not hiring somebody or for terminating a contract. Breaching these laws can put you in serious hot water so consulting with a lawyer first is always advised.
5. For Mergers & Acquisitions
All mergers and acquisitions require detailed planning and well-thought-out execution but there can still be a lot of legal problems which can potentially arise.
Purchasing or merging with another organization will usually require huge amounts of legal paperwork, contracts, financial ownership deeds, and many other things which are best handled by qualified attorneys.
Each organization can have its own set of lawyers or you can bring in an independent third-party legal team to ensure that everything is done fairly and according to the law.
6. To Help Manage Risk
Every successful business has taken some risks and been successful but an expert business lawyer can help to mitigate those risks by helping you to understand potential legal obstacles.
As a business owner, you are most likely an expert in your field, but that doesn’t mean you will know anything required for a buy-out or the laws governing a new market that you want to move into.
Some businesses shirk at the potential cost of lawyers, but the money they will save you in future issues will easily be worth the initial investment.
Just make sure that you hire the right lawyer for whatever your business is planning. Research businesses that have made similar moves and find out whether their legal teams will also be suitable for your business.
Business owners are excellent at running their businesses but there are many laws governing every industry that it can be impossible to be fully versed on them all.
In addition, there are so many legal situations that a business can find itself tied up in, that solid legal advice can be worth its weight in gold.
If your business is involved in any of these six situations, you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer to help you.
They will be able to advise you, make sure your business stays on the right side of the law, and can even save you a lot of money.