Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Small Businesses Need Good Lawyers

          However small your business may be, having a business lawyer is not only a good idea, but the best way to save you time, anxiety, and even money. A smart patient doesn't wait until they are really sick before they look for the right doctor. And when they get sick, they don't rely on advice they read on the internet on how to fix it. A smart patient will find a doctor they trust long before they ever need them to help prevent illness and to treat them, just in case. So, too, should a smart small business not wait until they are involved in a lawsuit before finding a lawyer. There is no doubt that your small business will encounter legal concerns along the way, whether they be actual lawsuits, or simply contract negotiations, buying and selling, leasing property, or one of the other many issues which might arise in any small business. It is essential that you prepare ahead of time by finding a great lawyer and building that relationship of trust and confidence from the beginning. A lawyer will be much more effective in protecting you and addressing your company's legal issues if they know your business before-hand rather than trying to play catch-up when an issue arises.

So, how can your business actually use a lawyer? 
  • Draft a Shareholder Agreement (or Partnership Agreement, or Operating Agreement)
          While the name may change, depending on how your company is set up, the necessity for this agreement remains the same. This agreement deals with those messy situations that "will never happen" but, in reality, unfortunately happen all the time. It outlines what happens when some partner in the business dies, or quits, or there is some other parting of ways. It outlines how a buy-out can be calculated, and should address a whole laundry list of other contingencies to prepare your business for the hopefully unlikely, but potentially very messy, uncertainties it might face. 
  • Manage Employees
          If you have a business with any employees, you should have a lawyer to help prevent potential future issues, and to protect you if any should arise. You might have the need for employment contracts, non-disclosure or non-compete agreements. You may need advice related to firing employees, or to help avoid lawsuits by disgruntled former employees. 
  • Document your Deals
          Your business is likely to buy or lease real property at some point. It is also certainly likely your business will need to buy and sell goods or services. You shouldn't rely on forms drafted by the other party, as they are likely to benefit them more than your business. A good lawyer will ensure that the agreements entered into by your business are well-documented, and that your interests are protected.

         Your business lawyer should be able to offer you tailored services that meet your specific business needs. They should be able to give you general, as well as business-specific, legal advice. They will help you deal with a variety of legal concerns and be there to address all of your legal needs. Every dollar you spend to help lessen your chances of ever having to face litigation, and, in case you do have to face litigation, to have the confidence that you will have the upper hand, is money well-spent on your business. 

          If you would like to learn more about the business representation services offered by The Law Office of Keith R. Taylor, and how we can provide services tailored to your business' needs and budget, visit our website or give us a call at 352-795-0404 today.