Staring a business may be a fun venture for entrepreneurs, but it comes with many considerations as well. You have to know exactly what your product or service is, understand who your audience is and check off all of the legal boxes when starting the business. While you can figure out the details with your products, services and the audience you serve, you’ll need to hire an attorney to help with the legalities of establishing a new business.
What Does a Business Attorney Do?
The most asked question of business attorneys is what exactly they do. First and foremost, they exist to advise on any ill-mannered legal business dealings. Secondly, they help entrepreneurs establish properly with the right type of business entity, the right tax category and business licensing.
What Are Business Entities?
Every business must be established as a sole proprietorship (most common for entrepreneurs), limited liability corporation (LLC), s-corp or c-corp. Without a business entity filed in your local region, your business doesn’t really exist in the eyes of the law. This means if you were to be sued by an unhappy customer, you wouldn’t have any legal ground to fall back on.
Why Do You Need a Business License?
Every incorporated business entity must register with the local county, city and/or state. This is mostly used for tax purposes, but again, it helps if you were to ever be taken to court by a disgruntled customer.
What Does a Business Attorney Not Do?
There is a common misconception that a business attorney will advise on tax strategy. According to the business lawyers at Scheid Cleveland in Denver (https://www.cololawyers.com), the number one thing they are asked is if they can help with taxes. Their attorneys will advise on the right tax category a business needs to file in (based on their business entity), but they do not advise on tax strategy. If you’re looking for ways to save money through taxes, you’ll need to reach out to a tax strategist.
Additionally, most business lawyers are not trial attorneys. They handle any sort of paperwork that needs to be filed with the local government, but most won’t go to court for you and your business. You can easily find a business litigation attorney, but it’s not a core offering from most business attorneys.
What Else Can Your Business Attorney Do For You?
In addition to helping establish your business with the local government, your business attorney can serve you in a number of additional ways.
Have your attorney review any contracts or agreements you send out to clients. It’s important to have all of the legal details buttoned up as much as possible and to avoid future court appearances.
Your attorney can work with you to set up a collections program for customers with past due bills. Having the strong arm of the law on your side always seems to help customers pay their bill.
As your business grows, you may reach the point of hiring employees. In some cases, an employee may choose to sue you over one thing or another. It’s important to have an attorney at your side to help with these disputes and reach a settlement with the former employee (if necessary).
As you can see, a business attorney serves many purposes for all types of businesses including entrepreneurs and start up organizations. If you don’t have a business attorney as part of your organization, it’s highly recommended.