It’s pretty obvious that your business needs a name, a tax identification number, and a business bank account. These are no-brainers – you couldn’t get off the ground without them.
What might not be so obvious to you is that your business also needs an attorney who specializes in business law. We’ve noticed that many new start-ups seem to overlook this crucial step in starting a company, and we’re here to tell you why that’s a big mistake.
1. Prevent Legal Issues
If your business ever has the misfortune of being sued, it’s already too late. Once legal action has been brought against your company, a lot of damage has already been done. Whether you win the case or not, you’ll end up paying legal fees, losing precious time and going through a stressful experience that could hurt your professional dealings.
A good commercial attorney goes to great lengths to monitor all of your business transactions to ensure that you are never at risk of getting sued. Many business owners find themselves in legal hot water because of an unintentional mistake, which is exactly what your lawyer would catch before it was too late. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
You are, no doubt, extremely passionate and knowledgeable about your field, but you are probably no expert in business laws. Nor should you be. Your energy and time should be spent on building your client base and doing great work for them. However, regardless of your particular field, you’re going to encounter murky legal issues that leave your head spinning.
Not only can a business attorney make sense of these issues, but they can guide you in important decisions that will affect your company long-term. Your lawyer is invested in your company’s success, so he or she will help you make choices that will benefit your profitability and survival. The relationship should also be educational for you, so that you begin to consider the legal side of all business decisions.
3. Financial Protection
We often find that financial issues can be the toughest to navigate for new business owners. There are monetary considerations that many people don’t even consider. Your attorney makes sure that all of your bases are covered, from taxes, to licensing fees, to employee benefits. Just like you, their priority is your company’s success, so they’ll make sure you are structuring your finances in a way that will keep you in the black.
What business attorneys provide can be summed up in one word: Protection. Their priority is to protect you and your business from anything that could threaten its survival and success. A big part of that protection is contracts – long, extremely specific, binding contracts that guarantee that you won’t be taken advantage of by partners, employees, clients, landlords, suppliers or anyone who you work with.
Your commercial lawyer is intimately familiar with all of the various types of contracts you’ll need to keep you safe from legal issues. Though a handshake and a verbal agreement with someone you trust is great, it’s fairly worthless when it comes to the law. Your attorney will make sure that you have a John Hancock and a paper trail on every transaction you make, and you’ll be glad for it.
Hiring a specialized attorney for your new company is the best kind of insurance policy you can buy. Having an invested, experienced advocate on your side is invaluable. They will give you peace of mind and protection against the forces that get the better of so many new companies.
We can’t say that your business will only survive if you have a designated business lawyer; that would be untrue. You may be able to do fine without one. The key word there, however, is “may,” as in, you “may” be able to blow through a red light without getting hit by another car, but is it worth the risk?