An estimated 43 percent of all small businesses are under threat of a lawsuit every year. 90 percent of all small businesses face legal proceedings during their lifetime.
If you’re an entrepreneur and own a business, you’ll likely work long hours and put all your money and effort into it. Unfortunately, as hard as you work, at some point, legal issues will arise. You are going to need the help of a business law attorney.
Lawyers handle all kinds of business-related legal matters. Depending on your individual legal issue, you may or may not need to hire a lawyer right now.
Here’s a look at several instances when you should hire a business attorney.
1. When You Are Forming a Business Entity
When you’re first starting out, you need to set about creating a business entity. You need to choose a name and location, select a legal structure for your business, file the necessary paperwork, get your finances in order and hire employees.
Whether you’re creating a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship, it is beneficial to have a business law attorney by your side to aid you. To avoid lawsuits and disputes in the future, a qualified business attorney will help you choose the right entity for your business. You need to figure out what kind of ownership is appropriate for your business.
You want to make sure you do not overlook any legal requirements in your state, or violate any trademark laws during the naming process.
2. While Drafting and Reviewing Contracts
Once you’ve decided on an entity, you will have to file the necessary paperwork and get various licenses and permits to legally run your business. Additionally, you may have to draft partnership agreements, employee agreements, and more during the initial formation process.
Having an experienced business law attorney to oversee the process will help ensure that you protect your interests. They will identify issues you may have not considered and draft contracts that are clear, enforceable, and with little to no room for ambiguity. This is especially necessary if you need long-term, high-stakes agreements.
3. When You Experience Issues With Employees
Employment law can be a tricky field to navigate. Various changes to employment laws can affect the way you run your business which could leave you feeling unprepared. Your legal rights and obligations to your employees could change at any moment, and you need an attorney to protect your business, and make sure your agreements are legally sound.
Beyond that, you want to protect yourself against workers’ compensation lawsuits, harassment lawsuits, discrimination lawsuits, and wrongful termination lawsuits.
4. While Changing or Redefining Business Structure
During the course of operation, you may choose to change the structure of your business. You may add new partners or bring in new investors, depending on the needs of your business. This need could arise due to company growth, a need for liability protection, tax considerations, going public as a company, change in ownership, or financial rules.
Each of these calls for a whole new legal process. You also need to check your circumstances and see what is the most legally and financially sound option for your business.
The roles of new parties to your business must be well defined, while there must be pre-written protocols in place for handling potential disputes.
5. During Business Negotiations
As a business, you may have to negotiate with other businesses. This could be due to mergers, acquisitions, resolving business disputes, or forming an agreement.
Both mergers and acquisitions need you to do your due diligence as a company. As a seller, you must look at ways to maximize the value of your business and ensure that all your paperwork is in place to allow for a seamless transition. As a buyer, you must review contracts and documentation to identify potential issues.
This includes corporate governance documentation, liabilities, contractual rights and obligations, intellectual property, and more.
6. When Your Business Faces Environmental Issues
Climate litigation is on the rise, and you do not want to be caught off guard. Sometimes, even though you are not at fault, you could find your business facing penalties.
You need to ensure that the way you run and operate your business is not at odds with any state or federal environmental laws.
7. Before and During Government-Mandated Investigations
If the government has reason to suspect nefarious activity in your business, they may choose to order an investigation. You could experience this at the local, state, or even federal level.
8. Your Company Is Being Sued
Companies are frequently sued for slip and fall cases, manufacturing defects, and more. Your options here depend on the nature of the case, and whether you are at fault.
A business law attorney can help you identify your best course of action and settle or pursue your case in court, depending on the facts. They will help you understand the basis of the lawsuit, and help protect your company’s interests during the proceedings.
Talk to an Experienced Business Law Attorney.
A business law attorney plays an important role in helping you navigate corporate lawsuits as well as preventing them. Make sure your business is operating within the bounds of the law.
Talk to a lawyer who understands the nuances of business laws in your state, today. Get an expert’s help with all your contracts, negotiations, lawsuits, and more. Schedule a free consultation here.