It’s often said that every business needs to hire two kinds of professionals: an accountant and a lawyer. It’s relatively common to hire an accountant to either work in-house or to help during tax season. Business attorneys, on the other hand, are far too often a mere afterthought. Many businesses don’t consider getting legal help until it’s too late.
Whether your California business is one of the many startups or you’ve been at it for years, hiring a civil attorney in Los Angeles is the best way to be prepared. When it comes to legal matters, a good offense is always going to be better than a good defense.
Here are some of the ways a lawyer in Los Angeles can help your business.
Areas a Business Attorney Can Help With
Whether your business rents space for its storefront, you have an agreement with your supplier, or you enter into business with other companies or people, you use contracts. Contracts are essentially agreements between two parties. At their foundation, contracts don’t have to be complicated, but they often are.
A contract spells out the exact offer, consideration, payment, and details of an agreement. Not understanding a contract can put your business at risk or create unfair terms. In other cases, contracts that aren’t appropriately drafted can be unenforceable. A mere misplacement of a comma could actually cost your company millions of dollars.
This is where having an experienced business contract attorney can come in handy. You may not need a lawyer to consult every time you make an agreement, but it certainly helps. Beyond being experts on contract law, attorneys are often excellent negotiators. They can usually help you get better terms for your arrangement.
If you are drafting a new contract, it’s always wise to get help from a contract attorney. They can make sure that everything included is both fair and legal.
You also have to worry about what happens if either party commits a breach of contract. A breach of contract is when one of the parties doesn’t fulfill their part of the arrangement. In many cases, these situations result in intense legal battles.
Having a business contract attorney in your corner can limit the amount of time in court, reduce your expenses, and result in your best-case scenario. In the situation where your business is the party that breaks the contract, your contract lawyer might be able to help find a way to dispute an unfair original agreement.
Whether your company is dealing with a breach of contract, a customer’s lawsuit, or some other legal battle, you’ll need to be ready in case things end up in court.
While some business lawyers are often able to sort things out before they land in front of a judge, arguing in court is almost inevitable at some point. Civil lawyers understand which cases have the best chance to win in court and which ones should be settled outside the courtroom.
When hiring a business lawyer, it’s crucial that you find someone who is comfortable arguing in front of a judge. Some attorneys have never stepped foot in a courtroom, and it shows. While these individuals might be excellent lawyers, they might also back down to avoid a trial. An attorney who isn’t afraid of taking things to court is going to defend your interests with all of his or her might.
Whether you are going to trial as a defendant or you initiated the case, your attorney should take care of the heavy lifting. This is not a time for you to try and save money by representing yourself. Even the smallest misstep could mean losing the trial, which could cost you more than your business is worth.
Regardless of whether you’re running a sole proprietorship or a large corporation, a Los Angeles business attorney can ensure that you’re set up in the best organization. If you’re a small company that plans to grow someday, you’ll want to take the right steps to make it happen. Your business attorney will help you understand the process as well as how the company should be operated.
If your business decides to go online, a business lawyer can ensure that you follow the Federal Trade Commission regulations for eCommerce. Laws dealing with online companies are often different than state and local laws, so being prepared can make a big difference.
Taxes and Audits
Along with helping organize your business, your civil lawyer can actually help demystify your taxes. While you may have an in-house accountant, a lawyer has specialized knowledge of how your company is taxed. They will also understand the results of a mistake on your taxes and how to fight an audit.
If your company leases commercial space, like an office or storefront, you’ll need a lawyer on your side. Real estate leases are always drafted to benefit the landlord. In many cases, having a lawyer inspect and negotiate your contract can save your company a great deal. This could include adding the appropriate tenant addendum or striking unfair terms off the lease.
While we often only consider businesses that deal with media and design as needing to worry about intellectual property, every business may run into IP situations. Whether your company needs to register a patent, protect a copyrighted work, or apply for a federal trademark, a business lawyer will make a huge difference.
Protecting your intellectual property could be the only thing stopping your competition from stealing your work. Even if your regular business attorney doesn’t specialize in intellectual property, he or she should have someone in his network who can help.
Help Your Business Grow by Protecting Your Legal Needs
While every company doesn’t necessarily need a full-time lawyer on staff, it certainly helps to have one on retainer. You certainly don’t need to meet with an attorney for every decision, but it does help to keep him or her in the loop.
Working with a lawyer is the best way to ensure you can fix mistakes before they turn into legal battles. While it might seem like saving a few bucks is in your best interest, you won’t believe the costs of being unprepared.
To fully understand how a business attorney can help your company, set up a free consultation today.