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7 Times Your Small Business Needs a Lawyer

By: Rebecca Lee

 

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Whether you’re starting out as an entrepreneur or are already running a small business, it can be hard to know if you need the services of a business lawyer or not. Many small business owners might believe that attorneys charge absurdly high rates. 

Of course, many business owners will be able to handle some issues on their own. Other more complex problems will more than certainly require a lawyer. 

In the Early Stages of Opening a Business

If you’re just starting out with your own small business, then a firm such as LegalVision New Zealand lawyers can come in handy from the very beginning. Rather than spend your time working out things for yourself, a lawyer can efficiently get a whole host of tasks done to help you get your business off the ground as soon as possible. 

Lawyers can provide several services for new businesses starting out, such as:

  • Help you decide what type of business entity you should open under, depending on your business activity. Should you be a sole proprietor, or a corporation? A partnership, or LLC? Lawyers will help you figure it out and do all the necessary paperwork.
  • Do the leg work to make sure your business name isn’t taken by anyone else, cutting off any possible legal ramifications down the road.
  • Obtain the necessary permits and licenses your business might need to operate
  • Create contracts so you can bring on employees, suppliers, vendors, and other essential stakeholders
  • Patent your business idea. If you’re not ready to get cracking on an idea but want to protect it, a lawyer can help you do that as well.

As you can see, having a lawyer on your side when starting a small business can really help get a lot done. But they’re also handy to keep around, as well. Here are a few situations in which your small business should hire a lawyer.

When Former or Current Employees are Taking Legal Action

For small businesses, if a former or current employee decides to take legal action against you, it can threaten the entire business. That’s why if these situations arise, it’s better to be safe than sorry and immediately hire a lawyer. If someone that works for you sues your company, it can be very tricky to work out. 

Lawyers can help you navigate this troubling time, working out the best possible solution while you focus on running your business as usual. 

If the Government is Investigating Your Business

Sometimes a government entity will file a complaint against your business, stating that you’ve broken the law. If this is the case, then there will likely be an investigation to see if it’s true or not. For the protection of your small business, it’s essential that you hire the help of a lawyer for these situations. They can help you navigate the tricky business of anything and everything, from tax audits to compliance with zoning regulations.

When You’re Buying or Selling a Business

Whether you’re looking to expand your company by buying another business or are looking to cash out, having a lawyer on your side is vital. When it comes to sifting through the paperwork and contracts involved, there can be a lot of legal jargon. That’s why having a lawyer by your side to double and triple check that everything is OK is an essential step.

When you buy a business, it could be coming with a variety of other assets as well, from stocks to equipment. A business lawyer can help you clearly identify what comes with the business and what doesn’t, so you have a clear picture of what you’re buying. The same goes for when you’re selling your business as well. A lawyer will also help alleviate any concerns you have during the whole process, which can be priceless during such a big decision.

Negotiating and Managing a Lease for your Business Premises

If you’re going to rent a location for your business, you’re going to have to deal with a lease. These can be filled with complex language, often stopping you from understanding some key terms and conditions once you sign on the dotted line. A real estate lawyer will not only be able to understand and explain these things to you, but they will also be able to negotiate on your behalf for a better deal.

Real estate lawyers can also help you when it comes to managing your lease. You might decide to sublet some space to another business. This would involve working out all the fine details of lease duration, amount of rent, responsibilities regarding repairs and maintenance, and the consequences surrounding a breach of contract. Having a lawyer on your side to iron out these factors is advisable. 

If You Need to Establish Contracts and Agreements

Small businesses usually have relationships with all kinds of different stakeholders at any one time. Whether it’s with employees, suppliers, or customers and clients, the details that go into all of them can be mind boggling. But lawyers can make short work of drafting up sound contracts for all types of stakeholders. It’s a vital part for small businesses to run successfully. 

To Help you Work Out your Tax Obligations

When it comes time to do your taxes, having a lawyer on your side can bring about some great results. Working out your annual business taxes, property tax, and sales tax can be difficult, especially when you start to think about what legally can and can’t be declared as a tax-deductible. There might even be some special tax breaks available for your business that you weren’t aware of.

A tax lawyer will be able to advise you on all the things that you legally can and can’t do when it comes to your taxes. And in the end, they’ll probably save you more money than it cost to hire one. It’s especially great value if your business has been chosen to be audited, since a lawyer will be able to help sift through the tough legalities surrounding the entire process, which is priceless for small business owners.

Published: December 18, 2020
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