There are two professionals every business will need early on: an accountant and a lawyer.
The reasons for hiring an accountant are pretty obvious – you need someone to help set up your accounting, provide tax planning, and prepare all your necessary federal, state and local tax returns. The reasons for hiring a business attorney may not be so apparent. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from entity formation, to copyright and trademark advice, to day-to-day general advice, negotiations and contract drafting, dispute resolution, and lawsuit defense.
Remember, if you’re being sued, it’s too late. The time to retain a lawyer for your business is before you are sued. Once you are sued, the costly mistakes have already been made which may have been avoided.
When should you hire a business lawyer? An experienced business lawyer can help with the following:
1) Starting a Business – Form the appropriate legal entity for your business. This could be an LLC, corporation, or some other type of business partnership.
2) Filing a Trademark or Copyright – Protect your trademarks, logos, and copyrights by obtaining federal registration to protect your business against infringers.
3) Buying or Selling a Business – Negotiate sales agreements, lease agreements, buy-outs, and offer advice in structuring deals.
4) Contracts and other Agreements – Prepare independent contractor agreements, non-disclosure agreements, joint-venture agreements, buy-sell agreements, and others.
5) Hiring Employees – Hire and fire employees in compliance with federal and local employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and Anti-Discrimination Statutes.
6) Litigation – Defend against frivolous claims and provide litigation support for prosecuting or defending lawsuits.
An experienced business lawyer will keep you and your business on the right track for future growth.