Every year in the United States, about 500,000 new businesses open their doors for the first time.
As a new startup founder, you have a lot on your plate. From securing adequate funding to hiring employees, running marketing campaigns, and whatnot, it’s hardly possible to keep your eye on everything.
As such, you might not be able to notice when it’s time to consult with or hire a business lawyer. Yet, as you go about your startup activities, it’s essential to ensure everything is above board and beyond legal reproach.
But you don’t need to hire an in-house lawyer. You should only seek their services when you need them to save costs.
Continue reading to learn when it’s essential to contact a small business lawyer.
You’re Setting an LLC or a Corporation
The vast majority of new, small businesses are sole proprietorships. This is the simplest business structure and you don’t need any professional help to set up the business.
However, if you’re considering setting up an LLC or a corporation, it’s important to have a lawyer helping you. Even some partnerships, especially limited liability partnerships, need the guidance of a lawyer from the onset.
Let’s say you’re starting an LLC. You need a number of legal documents, including the articles of organization and operating agreement.
Do you know how to create these documents? If not, bring in a business legal advisor with plenty of experience in company formation.
You Need to File a Patent
Like most startups in the country, you’re likely offering a proprietary product or service. Have you secured the relevant patents? If not, you risk being ripped off and making big losses.
While you can file a patent on your own, it’s a tedious process with lots of paperwork to fill out. It’s advisable to hire a business or patent attorney and let them handle this task. This professional can also help you with trademark registration.
When Entering into Contracts
Entering into contracts is part and parcel of being a startup founder. There are contracts with partners, supplies, employees, and other parties.
Contracts are legally binding, which means you need to know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line. A business lawyer will help you draft contracts and help you understand what signing it will mean for you and your business.
If you’re in the middle of a contractual dispute, don’t try to resolve it on your own. The stakes could be too high. A business attorney will use their arbitration skills to help you reach a favorable outcome with the other parties.
You’re Facing a Compliance Audit
Virtually every industry is regulated by the federal and state governments. This means there’s a raft of regulations your business must comply with.
You strive to comply with the relevant laws in your operations, but sometimes that’s not enough. You could violate the law and attract a compliance audit.
If this is what you’re facing, don’t hessite to hire a business attorney. They’ll represent you in the proceedings, ensuring your business doesn’t get punished severely.
Know When to Hire a Business Lawyer
A business lawyer isn’t a key hire in a startup. At least not in the early stages. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need legal help. As we have demonstrated, there are instances when it’s crucial to hire a business lawyer.
Explore our blog for more startup tips and advice.