Image: ShutterstockYou don’t want to spend unless it’s necessary, but you also don’t want to run into more expensive issues down the road that present themselves as a direct consequence of not having a lawyer when you need one. It’s a tricky situation, and there are some serious considerations to make. Figure out what you can do on your own The majority of formative processes don’t require the assistance of a lawyer. For example, you can draw up a business plan using free legal forms online. You can also develop and trademark a brand, as previous information that’s been trademarked is saved to searchable archives. You can even decide the legal structure of your business (such as becoming an LLC or developing agreements for shareholders or partnerships) and apply for your employer identification number and relevant permits. If you’re still establishing yourself, most of the prerequisites for getting your business off the ground are things you can do without the help of a lawyer. If you ever find that you’re confused or overwhelmed by the process, it doesn’t hurt to consult with a lawyer for some peace of mind. Understanding when to get legal help A lawyer is necessary when your situation pertains to the courts. If you’re being sued by an employee outside of a civil suit, you’ll want a lawyer’s representation. If any formal government organisations take issue with your operations, including the IRS, you won’t be able to handle those situations on your own. and you’ll also need a lawyer if you intend on selling your company, or acquiring another company. The same goes for major mergers. When trading, gaining, and dropping assets, a business lawyer needs to be involved to review all relevant agreements. Finding the right lawyer for the job Much like doctors, lawyers all have their own areas of expertise. You wouldn’t want a lawyer who has built a foundation in acquisitions to represent you in court if an employee is suing you for workplace discrimination. Having the wrong kind of lawyer is basically equivalent to having no lawyer at all. It’s not as simple as clicking through legal listings and emailing the first law firm on the list. The lawyer you select should have specific experience that directly relates to the task at hand. If you’re having difficulty finding the right lawyer, contact a law firm that deals with a broad spectrum of legal issues. They’ll be able to point you in the direction of a partner that’s best suited to your needs.
Continue reading to find out the pros and cons of retaining a business lawyer.
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