Small businesses go through many changes as they develop and grow. A company that starts out as just one person and an idea can become an organization with hundreds of employees and multiple locations. A business’ growth is invariably accompanied by greater responsibilities and—for better or worse—greater legal burdens. What’s more, creating a strong business foundation requires making smart legal decisions early on. Here’s why you should hire an attorney for your business.
Incorporation and Other Foundational Documents
The legal form of your business (e.g., a partnership, LLC, or corporation) matters and can have far-reaching effects. Therefore, choosing the right structure and drafting the foundational documents is best with the help of a business attorney.
This applies to incorporations in particular. The process of creating a corporation is more complicated than some realize and may require making fundamental changes to the way you operate. It’s also difficult to undo, so you should fully understand the advantages (such as asset protection) and disadvantages (increased tax burden, for example) before you begin.
It’s understandable that business owners might resist hiring an attorney in order to keep expenses down, but many will come to rue that decision when they become tangled up in an entirely avoidable lawsuit. You can’t be expected to know the legal ramifications of every business decision. A quick “I’d like to run something by you” conversation with your lawyer can save you untold amounts of misery.
It is also often the case that merely having a lawyer can prevent a conflict from escalating. For example, if someone threatens to sue you, either verbally or in writing, forwarding all future communications to your lawyer can have the effect that the person simply goes away.
Though this point could be filed under “avoiding lawsuits,” workplace legal issues are prominent enough to warrant a special callout. The modern workplace is highly regulated. Everything from workers’ compensation to harassment claims should be handled with care. Terminating an employee can easily backfire. Having predefined processes in place can help greatly, and a call to your lawyer when in doubt is usually a good idea.
From health plans to personal data collection, many aspects of your business activities are regulated by state and federal law. Operating your business out of compliance can land you in hot water and perhaps imperil your business’ future. Even if there are some compliance areas that you can handle, it’s liable to drain you of your time. Handing these issues over to someone whose job it is to understand them helps ensure that it’s done right and frees you up to focus on your business.
Find Out How Our Attorneys Can Help
Every business is different. Our business specialists can help pinpoint your needs and create a customized plan for moving forward, whether it’s a one-time service or an ongoing relationship. Contact our office today to get started.