By Tony Crighton
All business owners launch their businesses with the hopes that all their operations will run smoothly and that theirs will be a successful enterprise. Unfortunately, mistakes happen, issues and unforeseen circumstances arise, bad decisions are made and a whole list other issues can occur in the running of the business that can derail it and keep the business owner from achieving their objective.
Whether you are a mom and pop shop in Chicago, or a small- to medium-sized business based out of New York, at some point, you’ll likely require the services of a business lawyer to help iron out some of the issues you are almost certain to experience in the running of your business, some of which will have a legal undertone.
The following are the top five reasons why you need a business lawyer.
1. A business lawyer can help you solve employee-related issues amicably.
Employee-related issues are highly common in the workplace. Such issues can divert you away from the main goal at hand-running your business. Nonetheless, if you have an attorney by your side, these issues can often be handled in a non-disruptive way.
The advice you can get from a business attorney on how to handle any such employee issues can often be invaluable in helping you nip any potential future issue in the bud. It is not uncommon for employees to file all manner of lawsuits against their employers after some dispute. Attorneys can often advice you on things you can do to minimize the risk of that happening.
2. A business lawyer can help your business comply with federal and state laws.
Federal and state and local laws are different. They bring with them a host of rules and procedures, which you must adhere to. These laws will vary from industry to industry, and it will be your responsibility to keep abreast of these laws, and changes to them thereof. Violating any of these laws, even when they change, and claiming ignorance, will not prevent you from being penalized.
A business attorney is much more likely to stay on top of these laws and any changes that may be made to them, and consequently, is in a position to inform you of same.
The same thinking applies in situations where your business cuts across state lines. The situation then becomes even more complex as you are now dealing with multiple laws, which you have to keep on top of. A business lawyer helps you to sift through the different laws to ensure that you comply adequately with all of them.
3. A business lawyer can help with contract drafting and reviewing.
During the life of your business, you’ll very likely enter into contractual relationships with other parties. Anytime you need to negotiate or draft a contract, whether with a supplier, employee, or customer, it’s prudent for an attorney who is knowledgeable in such matter to review the document before you put pen to paper. In doing so, you’ll be able to get professional assistance with any issues that may be inherent with the contract as is, thereby possibly preventing any future disputes down the line.
The truth of the matter is that a contract, which hasn’t been overseen by an attorney, can potentially bring serious problems for you. Your job is to run your business and not to worry about what may or may not go wrong with contractual relationships you enter into. By drafting a contract yourself, or reading through it and thinking everything is OK with it, you’re most likely to miss plenty of things or details that can end up causing you trouble down the road. Things which a lawyer wouldn’t miss.
4. A business lawyer represents you in lawsuits.
A business attorney is handy at helping to mitigate the damages you might face in case of a lawsuit. And don’t get it twisted. Research tells us there is a relatively high possibility that your business will be facing one type of litigation or another in any given year. The very nature of a business and the various types of business relationships almost guarantee it. Likewise, the very litigious nature of the American society equally increases such a probability.
And even when it not you getting sued, it might be you needing to sue another party for some type of breach or another of a business relationship. Or it may simply be a case of such an attorney speaking to, or ‘threatening’ the other party with a threat of litigation to make them desist from the undesirable action, that may be enough to get the situation in line.
5. A business lawyer gives you good business advice when needed.
The advice of a business attorney can often be invaluable to you from time to time. Their knowledge of the legal system, the fact that their law practice is also a business, the fact that they very likely have worked with many similar businesses like your own, and therefore just might have come across a similar issue you may be having, and a whole host of other factors, are just some of the reasons why they often are able to offer you sound advice, where you might otherwise be unable to get such insights yourself.
There’s no doubt that a good business attorney can be a great asset to you and your business in more ways than one. Over and above the five reasons mentioned in this article, there are a whole host of other reasons and advantages to b had by retaining the services of a business lawyer.