A corporate lawyer is one of two essential experts that you’ll need as a business owner, with the other being an accountant. While most business owners find it easy to understand why an accountant is needed, most don’t really see the need for a corporate lawyer, especially in the beginning. However, a corporate attorney actually serves a number of pivotal roles within your business, from incorporating your business to dealing with lawsuits, advising you on copyright and zoning compliance issues to matters of liability.
Sure, having a lawyer on retainer or paying them by the hour might seem like an unnecessary cost today, but in actual fact this might save you thousands and even millions of dollars down the line when you consider the valuable legal counsel that they’ll be able to offer you in return for these fees.
It’ll save you money once you get into trouble
Contrary to popular belief, keeping a lawyer on retainer throughout will cost you much less than rushing to hire an attorney once your company gets into trouble. In fact, hiring a corporate lawyer when you’re under pressure is simply not a good idea, because you’ll probably end up choosing an attorney with needlessly exorbitant fees that doesn’t even understand your particular industry. Whereas, hiring a lawyer while things are still going well will enable you to take your time in choosing the most efficient, qualified and cost-efficient candidate.
For best results, start your search at a large firm like Steinepreis Paganin, as they tend to have professionals that exhibit a good combination of talent and experience.
You’ll have someone to handle contracts for you
Most business owners simply don’t have the time to study lengthy contract documents and will often sign on the dotted line after just a few moments of browsing or leafing through the document. This is obviously a big mistake and could get you in serious trouble if some of the clauses and terms in the contract are not favorable to your business. However, with a corporate attorney on your payroll, you’ll have your own legal eye to look through all your legal agreements and contracts to make sure that you don’t get the raw end of the deal.
There comes a stage in any business when expansion is needed and this often translates to real estate investment. Keeping in mind the complex nature of lease agreements -most of which favor the landlord- you’ll be glad to have a corporate lawyer by your side during these times to help you negotiate the terms to get you favorable deal. They’ll achieve this through a typical “tenant’s addendum”, which is a document that’s utilized to add provisions to the lease that will place you at an advantage.
Help with intellectual property
Creative businesses like media companies also need the expertise of an attorney to assist in trademarking and registering the company’s unique products and services for copyright protection. Trust us you’ll sleep better at night knowing that the product or service that you spend years developing is legally protected and cannot be copied by anyone without repercussions.
To facilitate taxes and licenses
At some point, you will have to register your business for state and federal tax, both of which come with unique identification numbers. Then there’s also the matter of comprehending the tax consequences associated with your business’ fundamental business transactions. Your corporate attorney will help you with all of these activities to ensure that your business complies with the law, while helping your to make smart decisions that’ll keep you on the right side of the law.
As you can see, hiring a corporate lawyer from the beginning is incredibly important to not only ensure legal compliance within your company but also to avoid and mitigate legal issues when they do arise. Whether you’re an emerging or seasoned business owner, you should not waste another day without hiring a corporate lawyer for your company.