When it comes to legal matters, DIY won’t cut it. Sure, you can download forms full of legalese from the internet. You can Google questions about a potential lawsuit or legal issue. However, a legal misstep can effectively put an end to your small business, so why would you put it in the hands of search engine results? If you want to run a successful small business, heed the most important business advice you’ll ever hear: You small business needs a lawyer.
Don’t wait until you’re knee-deep in a lawsuit to find one. Get legal representation now, so you’re prepared for any problems or questions in the future.
A Lawyer Knows Your Business
Let the lawyers handle the legalese.
If you only hire a lawyer when you’re facing a legal catastrophe, the person you hire must struggle to catch up. He or she must review your business’s history, ask surface-level questions, and consume billable hours in the process.
When you already have an attorney, however, you can skip all the get-to-know-you pleasantries. Your lawyer can jump right into to assist you, already knowing your industry, business model, sales figures, policies, and other essential data.
Ignorance Doesn’t Offer a Defense
As a business owner, you can’t expect to understand every facet of small business law. However, that doesn’t mean the legal system will give you a free pass if you accidentally break the law. In fact, ignorance is specifically not considered a defense to a legal action. The law’s complex verbiage and depths demand expert attention, and you’ll need an experienced attorney to keep you from making legal mistakes.
Contracts Shouldn’t Have Holes
You can write a contract on the back of a fast food receipt, but that doesn’t mean you should. While you don’t have to hire an attorney to create a contract, a professionally prepared agreement will have fewer holes and offer better protection if you do. It’s a wise investment to create at least your initial contracts you plan to use with clients. Don’t forget you should never sign a contract anyone gives you without having a lawyer review it, especially a lease or agreement from a Fortune 500 firm.
Since a contract represents a “meeting of the minds,” you want to make sure that you and your client or vendor both understand the terms. Contract disputes don’t always arise from malice. Sometimes, the parties just disagree on the original intention behind the agreement, which is where specific wording, crafted by a lawyer comes in handy.
You Need a Crystal Ball
Attorneys can often see into the future — not because they possess cognitive powers, but because they recognize warning signs related to small business legal issues. When you have a lawyer in your corner, he or she can provide small business advice on an ongoing basis. If your attorney sees a problem waiting to happen, you’ll get advance notice so you can correct the issue and avoid costly legal hassles.
Don’t be on the fence, you might be able to incorporate your business online, but that’s as far as you can go with buying legal advice on the internet. You need a lawyer for your small business. Without one, you stand vulnerable against attacks from the government, employee issues, clients, and anyone else who wants to start a legal dispute. No one needs a legitimate claim to file a lawsuit. If you’re looking for ways to protect your small business and learn more to grow your business, sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll learn strategies for keeping your small business afloat no matter what obstacles you encounter.