Are You Prepared Legally as a Small Business?

Did you recently launch a business or have one that is still relatively new? If you’re like many small business owners, you may think the only thing you need to do is set up an EIN number and incorporate it with your state. Unfortunately, many small businesses make the mistake of paying too little attention to the legal side of their business. One wrong move or oversight can put you at risk. Taking care of this aspect of your business can save you both time and money later. Not to mention the stress that comes along with unexpected issues when all you want to do is operate your business.

Most don’t realize that attorneys can add value to your business. In addition to the must-have documents, they can offer broader strategic business advice. This advice is meant to keep you on the right path to avoid complications later. To follow are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Preventative Medicine is ALWAYS the Best Medicine
It’s much more practical to know all of your options upfront, especially since there is more than one way to set up your business. Attorneys understand the legal implications of every type of new business. They can help you select the right structure, based on your vision for the company, and can help with the legal forms that can be very confusing. Nobody wants to get a year down the road only to find out that the structure you thought was best, is really blocking you from what you are trying to accomplish.

Every Business is Unique
You should also take into account when making the decision to hire an attorney is the nature of your business.
For example, is your business a high-tech product that you want to put to market? If so, you’ll need a patent attorney. Are you a professional services company? You’ll need an attorney who truly understands, and gets, the various structures to help guide you in the right direction and keep you on track for the future.

In any case, it’s important to ensure you’re protected, and the right attorney has the experience to anticipate potential challenges you may face down the road.

Find the Best Attorney for Your Business
Word of mouth is still the most reliable way to find an attorney. You may also get to know a potential attorney by the expert material they provide to the public. Both sources will get you closer to choosing an attorney that will not only make you feel comfortable, but will provide the best service possible and allow you to focus on your business while they work with you to gain the protection you need.

Interview a handful of prospective lawyers and if you’re a small business owner, insist that the attorney has business experience. Make sure they understand what kind of business you want, and that they have your best interests in mind.

Attorneys can be a great source of advice and partnership when you’re starting a business or navigating legal landmines. But make sure you feel comfortable with him/her and that you work together to create a budget so that the relationship is a win-win.