Most small businesses don’t consider hiring an attorney until something goes wrong. However, having an attorney can help you stay on the right side of the law and avoid costly fines or lawsuits. While some lawyers charge an hourly rate, others have flat fees. Here are six types of lawyers that you may need for your small business: General business lawyer:
Business Transaction Lawyer
A business transaction lawyer can help you with a variety of different transactions. These include contract negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property rights and real estate law.
They also draft agreements designed to protect their clients from unwanted legal issues and regulatory concerns. A good Denver business attorney will ask for your opinion and be willing to suggest alternatives to any agreement you may have in mind. For example, an up-and-coming musician may want to work with a transaction firm to create contracts for her music that protect her from abusive record labels. These attorneys can also help individuals by drafting documents that arrange what happens to their assets if they die or become incapacitated.
Employment and Labor Lawyer
Labor lawyers are responsible for enforcing federal and state laws that offer employee protections, including workers’ compensation and overtime pay and preventing discrimination. They can help their clients avoid legal trouble by ensuring staff members work in safe environments, and they can fight unfair claim denials by insurance companies for those injured at work.
The plaintiff’s employment lawyers describe their work as fulfilling because they can assist individuals who feel their rights were violated by employers. However, they also note that their job can be stressful at times. For example, when they negotiate contracts with unions during a labor strike.
Merger and Acquisition Lawyer
Whether buying or selling a business, you need an attorney to help you close the deal. Merger and acquisition lawyers work on both the buy-side and sell-side of contracts, and they can assist with various issues, including due diligence, financing, financial structuring, tax implications, management-team incentive strategies, and closing. M&A lawyers can also handle legalities, such as drafting letters of intent and merger agreements, which are contracts between the two companies that stipulate the terms of the transaction, such as purchase price, legal process, representations, and warranties. They can evaluate and reduce any potential legal risks of the M&A process.
As a business owner, you must pay state and federal taxes. A tax lawyer can help you comply with laws and prevent errors that could lead to costly penalties. They can also advise you about entity formation, capital markets transactions and mergers, acquisitions, tax-exempt status for non-profits and estate planning. Be sure to research the experience and reputation of a small business attorney before hiring them. You can search for reviews online and request referrals from other companies. Even though hiring legal counsel might be expensive, it can also help you avoid unnecessary hassles and costs. Evaluate your needs and budget before hiring a lawyer or tax relief firm.
Intellectual Property Lawyer
An intellectual property lawyer deals with issues involving the protection of creations from the mind. These creations may include inventions that qualify for patent protection; literary and artistic works like books, plays, music, and artwork; business names, slogans, logos, and designs; and trade secrets. They also help protect against outside sources that infringe upon those rights. These lawyers prepare documents needed to file for patents and trademarks, and they work with offices worldwide to attain these protections. They may also file lawsuits against those that infringe on intellectual property rights. They can help educate those within a company on what constitutes infringement and what is standard use to minimize problems.
Business Financing Lawyer
Business financing lawyers are well-versed in local state business laws and can determine the best financing structure for a small business. It includes determining which options are available for new and existing companies. They can also assist with exit planning, a process that involves creating a strategy for transferring ownership to a new leader. This process is crucial for a successful transition. Law firms often need capital for various expenses, such as office space, marketing campaigns, and hiring new staff. Revenue-based financing is one option that allows firms to pledge a percentage of their future earnings. This revolving credit is similar to a line of credit.