Types of Lawyer a Small Business Will Need: As a business owner, you are likely to experience a few lawsuits during the lifetime of your business. However, if you hire a lawyer from the beginning of your company, many lawsuits can be prevented, and the damages of ones that do happen can be lowered. A California business lawyer at Nakase Wade law firm, identified the six types of lawyers for small business.
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Lawyers can be expensive, we know, and as a small business, you prefer to reduce costs until you become profitable. But legal assistance is just as important as other initial costs and can really save you a lot of money and time. When you are served with your first lawsuit, you will be extremely thankful that you have a lawyer. They can ensure your business is set up correctly to avoid many legal claims and ensure that you have plenty of hard evidence to deal with any legal claims swiftly and without obscene damages.
A business attorney is also useful as a sounding board to ensure you are starting and operating your business correctly. They have been through the procedures and teething problems with plenty of small business owners before you and can greatly reduce the learning curve.
6 Types of Lawyers For Small Businesses
During your time as a business owner, you will be affected by many different areas of laws. No one business attorney will be experts in all types of law, so you may need to hire expert legal assistance on top of your general business lawyer. We recommend ensuring your business lawyer has a strong network of colleagues who specialize in different types of law so they can offer referrals. These are 6 types of business attorneys that every small business owner will encounter:
1. The General Business Attorney
A general business lawyer will work the majority of the time. They will help you to ensure your day-to-day operations run smoothly and will offer advice as you need it. When hiring this type of lawyer, consider the issues that you see affecting your business and if your attorney will be able to help. If you think you will have a number of issues in different specializations, then you should consider working with a large law firm that contains a number of different specialist departments.
2. Employment and Labor Lawyer
When you hire employees, then you will need a labor law attorney to help you set up your employment processes and ensure you are compliant with local, state, and federal laws. This type of lawyer can help you with employment contracts, employee manuals, safety standards, and hiring and firing processes.
They can help you put in place processes that will prevent sexual harassment, wrongful termination, or discrimination lawsuits. An employment attorney is a helpful sounding board when you intend to terminate an employee. They will ensure you follow the correct processes and ensure there is no possibility of a wrongful termination claim. If there is an issue, then the employment lawyer will handle it swiftly and effectively. Employment law changes regularly, so having a close relationship with an employment lawyer is vital.
3. Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyers (M&A)
When you buy or sell a business, then a mergers and acquisitions attorney will be vital to successfully negotiate what you intend to buy or sell. This process is extremely complex, and there are a number of nuances and pitfalls that can trip up those inexperienced in M&As. We recommend always contacting an M&A lawyer to guide you through the process. They can ensure you document the merger and acquisition properly and they are filed correctly, and advise on employee rights throughout the process. If you are negotiating intellectual property in the sale, check if your M&A attorney has intellectual property expertise or if you will need an intellectual property lawyer too.
4. Tax Lawyer
Business taxes can be extremely complex, and we strongly recommend hiring a CPA to handle your business taxes.
However, a tax attorney can also be useful when tax authorities take legal action against your business. This may happen when you file taxes incorrectly because you didn’t hire a CPA or because your CPA was crooked or incompetent. A tax attorney can help guide you through the process and try to minimize the damage to your business. When hiring a tax lawyer, look for one with at least a master’s degree in tax law. We recommend asking for referrals from other business owners.
5. Intellectual Property Attorney
If your company protects or plans to protect its competitive advantage through patents, trademarks, and copyrights, then you will need the help of an IP attorney. They can help you apply for intellectual property protection and also deal with any infringements upon those protections.
Similarly, if you receive a notice that you are infringing upon the intellectual property or you want to ensure you are not, you should hire an IP lawyer. They can ensure you are not a victim of expensive IP violation lawsuits. These are well-known to have extremely high payouts as they claim not only damages but any profits you made as a result of the violation.
6. Contract Lawyer
It is possible to use internet templates when drawing up contracts. These often work for very general needs but will not cover specific business needs and may leave you open to problems. By using a skilled contract lawyer for your contracts, they can create contracts tailored to your business and its needs. They can also write contracts that reflect the negotiations of your business deals. Also, when there is a dispute, your breach of contract attorney may help you recover damages.
By using a template, you might unknowingly back your business into obligations you do not need or not have clauses that allow you to seek legal remedy if another party does not perform their duties. Legal language is often too complex for people untrained in law, and the wording of your contracts are vital to the strength of the agreement.