Whether or not to hire a lawyer for a small business is one of the dilemmas that investors face. It is important to first identify some of the things that you can handle on your own in your small business and those that you cannot. This should play the primary deciding factor on if to hire a lawyer for your business or not. The truth is that there are some minor business issues that you can handle alone while others will require the intervention of a legal expert.
A lawyer can be a considerable expense for a small business, with some issues requiring tens of thousand of dollars. However, some of the issues that can be quickly handled by lawyers will be worth several times their cost. As such, it is important to weigh both sides and decide if hiring a lawyer for your small business is a good idea or not.
Some situations where it is likely necessary to hire a lawyer include:
A Legal Complaint By An Employee
Dissatisfaction in the part of employees can compel them to file a legal complaint against the company. There are cases where former, current or even the prospective employees of a small business file complaints on grounds of mistreatment, hostile working environment, unjustified employment termination, or discrimination. These issues will almost certainly require a lawyer to deal with.
A Legal Complaint From A Government Entity
Small and large businesses are always under close monitoring by authorities to ensure they aren’t violating any laws. In a case where your business has been accused of violating the law or has been caught up in a compromising situation, the services of a lawyer are almost certainly necessary. Some government entities are very strict and if you do not defend yourself against complaints promptly and with a good lawyer, your business can suffer a huge financial hit or even be shut down. You could also personally face arrest for contributing in violation of the law.
Formation of a Partnership
Setting up a partnership is a natural and necessary step for many businesses. However, you must remember that joining a partnership entails allocation of profits, losses, investment, and duties. This means that a legal agreement should be made before entering into a partnership. A lawyer can help ensure that an agreement is made that is fair to all parties and is legally enforceable in case of disagreements down the road. The role of the lawyer is to ensure that the agreement is made in accordance with the law and all involved parties are not oppressed in any way.
Some sectors are heavily regulated, such as those producing pollutants or selling financial services. Just understanding and navigating the law in these cases can require consulting a lawyer to prevent any infractions in the future. If you’re unsure of government regulations in your field, you should probably consult a lawyer.
If you face any of the situations above, it would be best to have a lawyer ready. The last thing you want is to have your business shut down especially for unjustified reasons. For simpler concerns, such as registering your business, filing patents, and other simple legal procedures, you should be able to handle most things yourself, though a lawyer can help work through any questions you may have.