When Does Your Business Need a Business Defense Lawyer?
The Necessity of a Business Defense Lawyer
Business owners have a lot of responsibilities and obligations to fulfill to ensure their companies are successful. There are also administrative matters and persistent regulatory issues that emerge that can bog down even the most effective business owner. Then you have customer-centric issues that must be addressed, and financial books that warrant attention.
Looming over all businesses, whether big or small and in all industries, is the potential for encountering legal issues. The most common legal matters usually spring from lawsuits lodged by dissatisfied customers or from disgruntled employees. But lawsuits can come at a business from other sources, as well, and they can not only tarnish your brand, but drain your revenues and sap your resources.
So that leads to the obvious question: When should you acquire the services of a business defense lawyer?
While retaining the services of business legal counsel might seem an expensive proposition, the repercussions of a lawsuit – without the aid of counsel – could be much more costly and wreak severe damage to the prestige and reputation of your business. Obtaining professional legal assistance and advice is important for your business and could save you money in the long run.
Legal Activities That Businesses Can Typically Handle on Their Own
While launching and operating your business normally involves various legal activities, there are many legal matters that business owners can handle themselves. Many legal activities are rather straightforward and, despite lacking extensive legal skills and knowledge, the average business owner can likely forgo the services of a business defense lawyer for such basic legal actions.
Here are some of the more common legal tasks that a business owner could come across that should not necessitate hiring an attorney:
- Putting together a business plan.
- Applying for an employer identification number (EIN) that you will need for employee tax purposes.
- Researching and selecting your business name.
- Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder’s agreement.
- Documenting LLC meetings.
- Creating contracts for employees and clients.
- Applying for necessary business licenses and permits.
- Creating agreements with business partners and suppliers.
- Obtaining a domain name for your website.
- Contracting with vendors and hiring independent contractors.
- Applying for a business loan.
- Establishing a buy-sell agreement with partners.
- Handling audits launched by the IRS.
The aforementioned issues can usually be effectively addressed by a business owner.
Legal Issues that Require a Business Defense Lawyer
There are occasions that a business owner should seek professional legal assistance. Typically, these are instances when a business faces issues that are too complex or sophisticated, or too time consuming, to handle themselves. Other times issues arise that are replete with liability issues. This is when it is prudent to retain an attorney that specializes in business law.
The following scenarios are examples of legal issues that a business owner may confront that necessitate the services of a business defense lawyer:
- Your business is sued by current, former, or prospective employees on the grounds of discrimination in the areas of hiring, firing, or alleging a hostile work environment.
- Creating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for employees. NDAs are created to communicate to employees that they are not to disclose trade secrets without permission, even after they have left the company. Legal attorneys put together NDAs to ensure that all the pertinent details are included in the agreement and that it is legally binding.
- Your business is faced with local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your company for violation of any laws.
- If your business seeks to make a “special allocation” of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement.
- White Collar Crimes and Business Litigation. White collar crimes and business offenses quickly get the attention of federal and state law enforcement agencies. Convictions of these types of crimes can involve punishments that are more serious than for violent crimes. Examples of these white collar crimes and/or business issues are securities fraud litigation, criminal tax, corporate and internal investigations, complex criminal and civil commercial fraud, insurance fraud investigations, and much more.
- Complaints or investigation of your business for violation of any laws. Though not common, there are situations when local, state, or federal government entities will file complaints against your company or initiate an investigation for any violation of law. It is these types of cases that your business defense lawyer should absolutely handle.
Recommendations for Hiring a Business Lawyer
When your business is faced with circumstances that call for the services of a business lawyer, there are specific criteria that you should be aware of so you find the right attorney who is competent to handle your case.
Here are a few tips to help in your search for business legal counsel:
Focus on Local Candidates
Secure the services of a lawyer who is in your area or community. By doing so, you save valuable time in traveling to meet with your attorney when you must talk about issues in person.
You also don’t want to incur travel expenses for when your lawyer comes to meet with you. Lawyers usually charge their travel expenses to you in addition to their professional fees.
It is clearly prudent to hire a business lawyer who is located in the Tri-Cities, for example, if your business is also located here.
Look for the Right Experience in a Business Lawyer
You will find during your search for local business defense lawyers that they have varying levels of experience. Some attorneys are more knowledgeable and experienced in particular areas than others.
Be sure to hire a business attorney who is skilled and experienced for your type of case. You will want to inquire about a lawyer’s level of experience in the area that is relevant for you, such as NDAs, employee lawsuits, or lawsuits dealing with local, state or federal agencies, for example.
Compare Costs of Different Business Lawyers
In addition to examining the level of expertise of business lawyers and their particular focus of experience, make sure you compare professional fees of the various attorneys you are investigating. As a business owner, you already know that your funds for this type of expense are limited, so you want to ensure you have the most value you can get with the attorney you decide to hire. Lawyers will be more than happy to discuss their fee structure with you, so don’t be shy when it comes to inquiring about their costs.
Get The Legal Help You Need in the Tri-Cities at Aultman Law
At Aultman Law, we are a small law firm feel with big law firm experience! Our clients do not wonder if their case is being worked up. As my client, I work up every case as if it will go to trial because an attorney who does not prepare a case for trial is an unprepared attorney. As my client, you are kept informed about the status of your case at every step until the case is successfully resolved because, after all, it’s your case.
At Aultman Law, experience is the difference. Among the advantages you enjoy when you let me represent you are an excellent track record, unparalleled customer service, and transparent fees.