The idea of hiring a business lawyer can make you feel unsure of your business status. People often assume that obtaining legal counsel is a problem for huge companies. However, there are plenty of reasons why even the smallest of enterprises should retain the services of an attorney.
How a business structures itself will greatly affect its liability exposure. The biggest mistake anyone in business can make is not incorporating. Even if you flip used goods online, it's prudent to have a business lawyer help you incorporate your operation.
Why does it matter? If someone sues you when you don't have an incorporated business, they have the right to hold you personally liable. That means they can demand every dollar and asset you have as compensation if they win. If you have an incorporated business, though, liability stops when the business runs out of assets. Whatever you paid yourself is protected so no one can come after your bank account, car, or house.
The organization of a business also greatly affects its tax status. Businesses often have access to tax deductions that individuals do not. You can structure your company's accounting to take advantage of accrual too. This means you can push losses into later years, potentially reducing your tax burden once your business becomes profitable. Also, you can claim tax credits specifically meant for businesses and not individuals.
What happens to even a tiny business when the boss passes away or is incapacitated? An incorporated business should have an answer in its charter. However, one that hasn't worked with a business lawyer might not have an answer to succession questions. An attorney can structure your business to ensure there will always be someone at the wheel regardless of what happens to any important figures.
The life of business doesn't stop at the door. Businesses have to interact with members of the public and other companies. Oftentimes, these interactions require contractors. These are for-profit agreements that outline the obligations between the involved parties. If someone stiffs you on a business deal, the contract provisions will frequently decide how much legal protection you may have.
As you grow a business, you'll likely need to have some folks help you. Becoming an employer means complying with workplace regulations, taking out taxes, and dealing with workers' rights. These all have huge legal implications, and a business lawyer should review all of your decisions on these fronts.
Contact a local business lawyer to learn more.