Negosentro.com | When Should I Hire a Business Lawyer? | When it comes to running a business, it often all comes down to timing. Because while the movies may make it look like success in business is all about “disruption” and innovative new ideas, most successful businesses can follow a blueprint for many of their operations. After all, these blueprints are built off of years of acquired experience from countless failed and successful business experiments.
What distinguishes the failures from the successes often comes down to when a company hits its benchmarks. And one of the most important benchmarks is when to start shopping for business lawyers.
Complicated Business Negotiations
If you’re looking to buy a new business or sell your existing business, there’s no substitute for a good business lawyer. Even a negotiation that seems exceedingly simple on the surface can have deceptive complications, and you could be at a distinct advantage if you come to the table without a lawyer and there is a lawyer on the other side. That’s not even taking into consideration the tax and other fiscal complications that come with a commercial purchase or sale.
Lawyers are also a necessary commodity if you’re still in the early days of your business and looking to get it incorporated. The purpose of LLCs and other business entities is to protect you from your company’s liabilities, so you want to make sure that the actual formation of your organization is airtight from a legal standpoint. This is especially true if there are multiple founders. A great lawyer can navigate through the legal snarls and head off potential arguments among founders at the pass.
Investigations by Government Entities
Whether you’re facing an IRS audit, a potential violation of environmental regulations, or a slip-and-fall lawsuit from a customer, government investigation always warrants reaching out to a qualified lawyer. Your business can be penalized even if you’re only incidentally involved in a violation, and even the threat of litigation is something to take seriously.
In a situation of litigation, it’s ideal to find a business lawyer who has experience working with businesses in your field or a similar field. In general, you can prevent your lawyer from ever having to deal with serious litigation by demonstrating due diligence. Having a lawyer on hand to look over your financial transactions and perform periodic audits of your operations can prevent the risk of investigation in the first place.
Intellectual and Physical Property
There’s nothing more valuable than an idea, and fights over the ideas that lead the zeitgeist can become ruthless and highly complicated. That’s why it’s important to protect your intellectual properties through the use of a qualified lawyer.
Patent law is particularly complicated and is thus prone to exploitation by enterprising parties. A general business lawyer is a fine choice for general intellectual property law, but you may want to seek out a lawyer that specializes exclusively in intellectual property law.
Even if you don’t keep a lawyer on retainer all the time, you’ll want to bring one onboard when it comes to finding property for your business too. The law in most states leans in favor of the landlord, but a lawyer can provide you with the leverage to work out more amicable terms for office space.
Always Being Prepared
The best time to hire a business lawyer is before you actually need one. That may sound glib, but it’s true. If there are outstanding legal issues you aren’t aware of yet, your ignorance can cost you some serious interest – and bringing in a lawyer to deal with all of your major negotiations and contracts may be pricier, but it will help you secure your interests in the long term.