The Importance of Having a Business Attorney

We live in a litigious society. For business owners, this means that being proactive about legal matters by hiring or retaining a lawyer is smart practice. Here we will discuss the importance of having a business attorney for issues that you may face with your company. As the saying goes: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Why Hire a Business Attorney?

In the initial stages of starting or running a business, the last thing most people worry about is hiring a lawyer. They are much more concerned about making a profit, hiring the right people for key positions, and dealing with day-to-day operational challenges. However, as any business grows larger and more profitable, it touches more people and interacts with them: employees, customers, vendors, government bureaucrats, the IRS – the list goes on. One wrong interaction can lead to a lawsuit, unfortunately, in the current environment. Is your business prepared?

Additionally, employing the services of a good attorney can save your company money in the long run. Legal codes are complex. No business owner can be expected to be aware of or understand them all. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure that your company is following the law, operating legally in all matters, and protecting its assets.

What should be handled by a business lawyer? Here is a short list:

A general business lawyer can help with many different legal matters, but he will not be a specialist in labor law. He may be useful when you are dealing with firing a difficult employee, but if your company has a large labor pool or anticipates unionization or a strike, an employment and labor lawyer will be essential to have. Similarly, billion-dollar corporations hire teams of tax attorneys to follow IRS requirements while retaining as much of their profits as possible.

There are many types of law, so there are many different kinds of lawyers, including:

  • General business lawyers
  • Tax lawyers
  • Contract lawyers
  • Employment and labor lawyers
  • Intellectual property lawyers
  • Mergers and acquisitions lawyers

When deciding what type of lawyer or lawyers to hire, evaluate your present and future requirements carefully.

When to Hire a Lawyer

The best time to hire a lawyer is not when your company is in panic mode – it’s before you think you need one. While it’s true that attorneys do often charge hefty fees, it’s better to find the right lawyer for your anticipated needs when you can take the time to clearly decide what kind of person you want to work with and what kinds of legal advice you may need.

Ask for attorney recommendations from your business associates and people you trust and meet with all the attorneys on your list in person. Do your homework: read reviews and check their online profiles and history. Ask them how they have handled various legal situations. You want to make sure that you find a lawyer who is the right fit, one you can work with well and rely upon.

Do not rush the hiring process. You should be prepared to ask many questions about various problems you anticipate that your business might have. When hiring a general business lawyer, ask about their experience in these areas. You may need to find a more specialized lawyer if your company has more specialized needs or greater liability.

If you are considering exiting or transitioning your business to a new owner, your exit plan should definitely include a lawyer familiar with the challenges mergers and acquisitions pose. A good exit strategy can mean the difference between a happy and comfortable retirement and the inability to sell the company you built, so you should involve an exit planning team of experienced professionals, including lawyers and accountants, to assist you in this process.

Businesses do not need a lawyer for every legal issue that may crop up, but when you have a challenge like a lawsuit or an IRS audit, it’s much better to have a lawyer you trust to help guide you through it. For this reason, begin your search for a business attorney early on. Your business attorney will be a part of your team, and the right legal counsel will help your company meet its goals, protect itself from threats, and ultimately succeed.

Vincent Mastrovito

Vincent Mastrovito

[email protected]
(616) 622-3070
250 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 400 
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

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