Contrary to belief, you don’t need a lawyer for every legal issue that you might encounter in your company. For instance, one of the first jobs that you’ll need to complete when setting up your business is choosing a name and trademarking your business. That might sound like a legal matter, and it is, but it’s not one where you’ll need legal assistance. Instead, you can select the name yourself and then sort out trademarking using the provided tools from the government. There are plenty of other similar situations where a legal issue doesn’t require legal assistance.
For instance, to run your business, you will need various licenses and permits. But again, there’s no need to hire a lawyer when you can set these up yourself. In fact, these days, it’s possible to get most of the permits you need to run a company online. Approval will take a few weeks, and you will have completed the job without any assistance from a lawyer at all. This does present the question: When do you need legal assistance running a business?
Issues With Employees
You will definitely need a lawyer for any legal issues with employees. For instance, you might have to deal with a wrongful termination lawsuit. When you fire an employee, it is possible that they don’t believe there was a fair or reasonable cause for terminating their contract. If that’s the case, they will sue your company for the loss of wages. A lawyer can protect you from an issue like this and help present the case for the aforementioned termination. Of course, this is just one possibility, and a lawyer can help you with any legal issue with employees. Another example might be certain workers complaining that you are running a hostile work environment. Of course, employees aren’t the only ones who can bring legal claims against your business.
It’s possible that a lawsuit could be brought forward by a customer or client of your company. A client might argue that there was negligence on your behalf when you were completing a service for them. If that’s the case, they will sue you for any damages they experienced due to the issue with their service. A lawyer will be able to show that you completed a service in good faith and there were no issues with the service provided.
Government And Local Regulations
You may have breached government regulations or regulations set out by the local council. If that’s the case, they could bring a legal claim against your business. Again, a lawyer will defend your position in any investigation where you are under suspicion for violating local laws.
All these issues are examples of litigation that can be brought forward against your business. It’s important to realize that a lawyer will have a larger role in your business than just defending the company against lawsuits.
Establishing A Corporation
There are certain areas of setting up a business that you can complete yourself. For Instance, you can write a business plan without the help of a lawyer but setting up a corporation is a tad trickier. You need to form a board, establishing the main shareholders. There are intricate legal requirements on the administrative side of establishing a corporation, and for this, you will need the help of a corporate lawyer. Particularly, when dealing with issues such as taxation.
Filing A Patent
Another reason you will need a lawyer is to file a patent. This is far more complex than trademarking a company, and if you want to ensure the rights to your design are protected, you will need legal assistance. There is also the question of whether a legal patent will be effective or indeed, beneficial. It’s possible that gaining a patent will have very little effect on the success of your business. Firstly, successfully gaining rights to a patent is a lengthy and arduous process that can take years. You may want to consult a lawyer to discover the benefits of a patent and whether it would be useful to you before entering into this process.
Buying And Selling Businesses
Perhaps you are starting a business by purchasing it from another owner. If that’s the case, you will certainly need a lawyer to ensure that the proceeding is carried out above board. Lawyers can also help you get the upper hand in a proceeding like this by ensuring that you get the right price. Or, perhaps looking at lease agreements for you. Furthermore, they can help you convince the previous owner to stay on as an advisor for your new business. This will strengthen the company and make the change in management far easier.
If you are selling a business, a lawyer can help you in ensuring you get the best price for your company. To do this, they need to start work as soon as your company opens. A lawyer will advise you on the records you need to keep to ensure your business is attractive to potential future owners from day one.
You can also use legal assistance to help you gain the assets of another company through a purchase. When setting up your business, you can do this to immediately gain a stronger position on the market.
Of course, arguably the main reason for hiring a lawyer in your business is for a preemptive strike. We have mentioned several of the key legal issues you can encounter in your business and how a lawyer can aid you in these situations. However, the main purpose of engaging a lawyer when starting a business is to help you avoid this issues completely. With a legal expert on your side, you will be able to ensure that you never break the regulations that could put you on the wrong side of the law.
They will also ensure that you take the right steps to avoid legal issues with employees. For instance, a legal advisor will make sure that the standards of work are clearly laid out so that employees are unable to argue wrongful termination.
As you can see then, a lawyer is an essential service that every new business owner needs with roles that reach far further than litigation.