When should a business hire a lawyer?
When most of us are asked to think about lawyers and business, it is all too easy to imagine something reminiscent of a thrilling court drama instead of the daily grind lawyers go through to help avoid problems.
Many businesses, especially small ones, may see a lawyer as something you only need when things go wrong, or there’s a problem that can’t be sorted out there and then. In reality, the scope of services lawyers provide can help a business and ensure things run smoothly. From the lofty heights of contract creation and corporate tax to the messy areas of dispute resolution and business reputation, here are some of the main reasons why a business would want to hire a lawyer.
When looking to avoid hypothetical disputes
If you’re running a business and have never had a dispute or bad run-in with someone, you’ll have to tell me the secret to your success. It is often more likely that a business will find itself in dispute at any point over trivial matters. The most common example of this stems from agreements. It could be that an agreement you signed with someone else isn’t quite clear on who is responsible for a specific service or function.
For example, when businesses are looking for services, they will tend to outsource that need. You’ll see it in everyday life with the likes of cleaners in hospitals, the meals you’re provided on flights etc. Even the likes of your local public transport system may be carried out by another provider through agreements.
This leaves the possibility of disputes to be much higher. Any business that knows its stuff will avoid this by having a lawyer oversee the initial agreement to ensure it is airtight and in your favour.
Even when the trial process ends and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can use the services of appellate lawyers which skills provide the maximum opportunity for a favorable result.
When looking to avoid the blind side
What’s worse than getting a dispute with someone? Never seeing it coming in the first place through your own fault.
You never want a business to be blindsided after making what could be considered extremely simply mistakes. Again, lawyers will help with highlighting potential areas you can run into. I recommend looking for lawyers within your industry first and foremost, as they’ll have first-hand experience of the blunders other companies have made in the past, especially if you’re new to an industry and wouldn’t feel 100% confident in your abilities.
I know the “blind side” is something of an American reference, but for myself, being based in the UK, I have been surprised by just how many different business lawyers & solicitors there are out there. From personal experience, I highly recommend Brodies LLP, who have worked with many companies to avoid simple mistakes.
When people are looking to get paid
Businesses which rely on invoices by set dates often run the risk of clients either pulling you along and not paying or placing you in a position to lean on credit. Lawyers, for lack of a better term, have none of it. When you’re paying them to help, and they’re reliant on those invoices just as much as you are, they will chase up and know the appropriate steps to take if a client won’t budge.
When you’re looking to wind down
A lawyer is just as useful when things are on the up & up as they are when you’re looking to shut up shop. Any business in the process of winding down wants to avoid any loose ends, especially if it isn’t going to be a comfortable experience.
When you need protection
No business is bulletproof, but not having the correct measures in place can have adverse effects on assets. I’m mentioning this point last because it’s a good final thought to leave you with. Talk with a local lawyer, even if it is just to discuss how assets can be protected by trusts or Power of Attorney, as it helps keep a business on steady ground.
If there’s one takeaway from this article, it is simply that every business needs a lawyer, whether they know it or not.