If you’re like most business owners, your biggest fear isn’t whether or not you can grow your business. It’s whether or not you’ll get sued by a vendor, client, or employee.
There’s a good reason for that fear. A lawsuit is enough to pull your time and attention away from your business. It’s also expensive, with the cost ranging from $3,000 to more than $150,000.
You might feel helpless because you don’t know the law, or you feel like you’re doing everything right and still get sued. A corporate lawyer can help you in that and so many other situations.
Do you want to know how a business attorney can help your business? Keep reading to discover 9 ways a corporate attorney can protect your business.
1. Shield You From Lawsuits
Many people tend to assume that businesses have a lot of money just because they exist. That makes them targets for frivolous lawsuits.
A corporate attorney can protect your business from these and other lawsuits. They can negotiate settlements, and work with your insurance company while you focus on your business.
They can also perform risk assessments of your business. That prevents your business from ever being sued to begin with.
2. Protect Intellectual Property
Your brand and identity mean a lot to your business. If you have proprietary systems that give you a competitive advantage, then you need to protect them.
If you have a great product, you’re doing to have to contend with knockoffs. While this is seen as a compliment, it can dilute the marketplace and impact your business.
An employee that leaves your business can go to a competitor and share all of the trade secrets they know.
These scenarios might seem like something out of a movie, but they are real possibilities. A corporate lawyer will make sure that your business doesn’t suffer from these issues.
3. Have the Right Business Structure
How you start your business matters. It’s a possibility that you create a legal structure that leaves your personal property exposed to lawsuits.
That can happen to sole proprietors. Legally, there’s no difference between you and your business. It’s possible that you can lose your personal property in the event of a lawsuit.
Now, if you start your business as an LLC, keep separate accounts, and function like two different entities, you can protect your personal property.
There are also tax implications for your business if you use the wrong legal structure.
Before you take on your first client, work with law firms like the Kemp, Ruge& Green Law Group, or Alston and Bird. These law firms will make sure that you have the right legal structure from the start.
4. Create Trust With Investors
Do you plan to grow your business and get outside investment? Investors want to know that you have done everything possible to minimize the amount of risk in your business.
Having a corporate lawyer on hand sends a signal to investors that you’re serious about guarding and growing their investment. They’re more likely to trust you and invest in your business.
5. Draft Strong Contracts
There are times when you need to depend on strong contracts. For instance, if a client misses a payment, do you have any legal rights?
You don’t if you depend on a verbal conversation and a handshake. A formal agreement spells out the terms of the contract, and lets clients know that you will take clear actions if you don’t pay on time.
Before you enter into any kind of contract, whether it’s for a commercial rental space or a service agreement, have a business lawyer look at it first. That will ensure you get the best deal possible.
6. Have Updated Website Policies
You don’t want to just copy from another policy that you see online. Have a corporate lawyer draw these documents up for your business.
7. Navigate Complex Tax Issues
The tax code is thousands of pages long. You don’t want to have to read every line to figure out your business taxes. On top of that, it seems that tax laws are changing every year.
For example, did you know that there are implications if you took out a PPP loan in the last year? This is one area where a corporate attorney can help your business. You can consult with them before you make any major decisions.
8. Mergers and Acquisitions
What happens if you want to buy or sell your business? You have to have an attorney draw up the contracts and negotiate the deal for you.
They’ll advise you as to whether or not you should buy a business to expand into different markets. You’ll also know if it’s the right time to sell to maximize the value of your company.
9. Follow Employment Laws
Employment law is another area of law that can trip up businesses. There are state laws and federal laws that dictate when employees get paid and whether they should receive paystubs are not.
There are also laws to ensure that employees are treated fairly. You should have an attorney review or create employee policies.
Hire a Corporate Lawyer
How much did you learn about business law? There are many aspects of the law that you need to think about. A corporate lawyer will take care of all of them.
You’ll end up with a stronger business that’s set up for long-term success. You’ll have the legal protections you need to have better relationships with your employees, clients, and investors.
Be sure to check out the Laws section of this site for a complete rundown of laws that affect businesses of all sizes.