Opening a small business is a dream that many people have, and anybody about to embark on this exciting journey has surely pictured it in their mind a thousand times. No matter what type of business it is — from a bakery to a consulting firm — did your vision include picking up the phone and hiring a lawyer? For most people, the answer is no, but that could be a big mistake.
There are many reasons for hiring a small business attorney, from helping you craft and review contracts to ensuring that you are in compliance with local zoning laws and have all of the appropriate licenses you need to do business in your town. A small business attorney can provide you with invaluable information on protecting your own copyright and trademark and avoiding infringement on somebody else’s brand. Perhaps most importantly, you need a small business attorney to protect and represent you in case you get sued.
There are very few types of business where there is absolutely no possibility of facing a lawsuit. In the aforementioned bakery you could face liability if somebody slips and falls in your shop or gets sick; a consultant could face a professional malpractice claim. And what if you need to sue a client for nonpayment, or a contractor for non-performance? By hiring a small business lawyer before you need them, you will already have established a relationship with them. Their familiarity with your business will go beyond mere introductions: they will likely already have helped you to determine the type of business entity that is best for you, reviewed or created the contracts you will be using, and more.
Choosing a small business lawyer is a matter of determining your needs and your personal preferences. A large firm is likely to have associates who specialize in different areas of the law, and that may be helpful if your business is complex and you are likely to need somebody with knowledge of real estate, finance, tax law and liability. Small businesses are frequently able to work well with smaller firms, and there are many advantages to working with those as well. Ultimately you should make your decision based upon who you feel most comfortable with after assessing a firm’s experience, knowledge, reputation and capabilities.
If you’d like to meet with us to discuss your small business needs, give us a call to set up an appointment.