Working with a lawyer is an essential but overlooked aspect of running a business. In most cases, enterprises consult lawyers when problems arise. However, this is not a good approach, and entrepreneurs should prioritize legal services as they do marketing, staffing, and sales. Learn five ways a lawyer can help your business thrive in the competitive commercial sector.
Entry and Exit Strategies
When starting a business, numerous considerations must be made. These include creating a business plan, determining the business structure, and obtaining licenses. An error in these aspects can result in unnecessary tax liabilities, costly fines, and even failure. A lawyer can advise on the best business structure –sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and help apply for licensing and permits.
While most businesses account for entry strategies, they overlook exit ones. What happens when a partner or shareholder decides to exit? Does the company continue to operate or close down? A lawyer can assist in creating buy-sell or buy-back agreements to facilitate such changes without affecting business continuity.
Contracts and Agreements
Contracts and agreements are the lifeblood of an enterprise. While copying and pasting contracts online is tempting, it is not advisable. Businesses should have a lawyer draft contracts to meet business needs as well as review and negotiate them. This includes employment, vendor, and partnership contracts. A small mistake or wording error in a contract can lead to costly future disputes.
When it comes to agreements, lawyers can handle different types of agreements, including employment ones. For instance, non-disclosure agreements forbid employees from taking trade secrets to competitors when they cease working with you. Such agreements are particularly vital for technology companies since their success depends on trade secrets.
Taxes and Disputes
While a lawyer cannot replace your accountant, he can advise on tax issues and help to keep up with the dynamic tax laws and regulations. Lawyers are also knowledgeable about tax credits and deductions. Disputes are inevitable in the commercial landscape. Fortunately, a business lawyer can help to settle the conflict in the most amicable way possible. They can advise on whether to take the matter to court or settle outside for the best business outcomes.
When renting commercial space, landlords and realtors often ask businesses to sign complex contracts that primarily favor them. Before appending your signature on the contract, it is best practice to have a lawyer review it and identify issues that may arise in it. A lawyer like Brad Kern can offer legal advice when buying and selling commercial property.
Intangible assets such as the company name, logo, and unique goods and services should be protected since they give your business a competitive edge. Similarly, specific business processes, creations, and software may need patent protection. A lawyer can assist in intellectual property protection and trademark, copyright, and patent registrations. He can also advise on what to protect and register and what not to.
Operating a business involves maneuvering numerous legal issues. A lawyer can assist your company in distinct capacities, from entry and exit strategies to intellectual property, real estate, and tax. The insight and guidance of a lawyer is a worthy investment for your business.