Attorneys are not the first thing most small business owners have on their mind when building their company. Usually, they view attorneys as unnecessary and an unaffordable expense. However, an experienced business attorney is a money saving resource!
Partnering with an attorney early on will be inexpensive compared to the issues and costs that often arise as a result of not establishing a firm legal foundation.
In addition to partnering with counsel on the ground floor, it is prudent to have a board of professional advisors and mentors. Our team here at the Law Offices of Shannon C. Smith partners with accountants, financial advisors, and serial entrepreneurs to create a board for those we serve. From start up to winding down, we are here for you every step of the way.
For those of you starting a business, one of the first services a business attorney can assist with is confirmation your business name is available and assist with the selection of your business structure. A business attorney can also help navigate the necessary licensure from local to federal and obtain all applicable tax numbers, e.g., withholding, sales, FEIN, etc.
Next, owners will need assistance in assessing needed contracts. Once you and your attorney have confirmed the relevant contracts, counsel can negotiate and draft any partnership agreements or corporate documents.
Throughout the business life, there may arise a need for employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, and employee handbooks – all proactive measures an attorney can take to set expectations and avoid potential lawsuits!
The longer the business “life”, the greater the need for counsel and an experienced board.
A business is like a car, it requires ongoing maintenance and periodic check ins. That is why we suggest hiring a firm that provides ongoing General Counsel Services to be the ‘mechanics’ for your business.
This enables your attorney to anticipate needs, mitigate potential risk, and suggest certain ‘tune ups’. Tune Ups such as revisiting employment agreements, corporate documents, amending existing operating or shareholder agreements.
This preventative maintenance helps keep your business from “blowing a gasket.” But in the event it does, (or an employee does) having an attorney familiar with your business is crucial! Your general counsel lawyer can quickly navigate threatened lawsuits and provide advice.
Finally, should the time come to sell or acquire a business, a business attorney can negotiate the transaction on your behalf, draft the purchase agreement, perform due diligence on assets to be purchased, and take other needed steps. Counsel can also walk business owners through the “winding down" process. An added bonus is finding counsel with experience running an actual business. Law school doesn’t teach you how to run a business and this unique understanding enables our attorneys to anticipate and understand pain points as well as ongoing knowledge of the need for urgency.
Hiring experienced counsel from the onset will help save and make your business money. While you certainly do not need an attorney for every faucet of running a business “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure”.
Smith Law’s team of business attorneys provide ongoing general counsel services and have the applicable experience and understanding of being business owners. We know the value of having experienced legal counsel from the beginning.
Owners should view business attorneys as a teammate and an asset.
Smith Law is ready for the greenlight.
To speak with an experienced Covington business attorney, contact us at (859) 710-9001 today!