As an entrepreneur, there are many worries to consider. One such question is whether a business lawyer is needed. The perception that an experienced attorney will charge exorbitant rates, which small businesses typically do not have, makes most a dream instead of reality. As a result, many newfound companies only hire an attorney when confronted with severe legal repercussions. However, legal assistance has been found to save an entrepreneur money and promote a successful business in the long-run. So, when should you seek out a business formation lawyer? Early on.
When to Retain a Lawyer
Most lawyers will be eager to help an entrepreneur form their business. You’ll typically need help with:
- Formation – While you’re fully able to take care of the establishment of a company without legal support, forming a corporation with shareholders and partnerships is a more complicated process. Articles of incorporation may be filed without a lawyer, but the administrative portion of managing tax and legal requirements benefits from a business attorney.
- Patents – If your business relies on a product you’ve created, a patent is critical. Licenses are also expensive and time-consuming. It may take years for one to be approved. Consult an attorney early to evaluate the product and move forward.
- Litigation – Whether you’re dealing with lawsuits by an employee or a customer, litigation is best handled by an attorney.
When starting a business, your emphasis should be placed on prevention. Prevention does not necessarily mean you require an attorney, though consulting with one may prove beneficial. For example, should a prospective employee sue for discrimination, you’ll have a lawyer on retainer.
To alleviate unnecessary costs early on, consider setting up a consulting agreement with a business attorney.