For a business, one of the most valuable assets it can have is a relationship with an experienced business attorney. An experienced business lawyer can tell you what steps you need to take and how you should respond when dealing with tricky situations. If you don't act properly, your company may lose thousands (or even millions) of dollars and may have to cease operations. Here are three instances when you need to consult a business attorney and one where you can often handle things on your own.
1. Creating a Contract With a Vendor or Employee
Before signing a contract with a new vendor or employee, have your lawyer examine the contract to make sure that the terms are legal and will stand up in a court of law. Contracts are frequently necessary to protect business owners; you don't want to falsely believe you have protected yourself from the worst when the terms of the contract are illegal or unenforceable.
2. Responding to Lawsuits From Former Employees
If a former employee decides to sue you for discrimination or for causing a hostile workplace, this is not a summons that you should ignore or respond to on your own. Should the court rule in favor of your former employee, your company may suffer severe damages, both financially and to its reputation.
Even if you know that the employee's complaints are completely unfounded, you need the services of an attorney to tell you how you can prove the complains are unfounded and what evidence you can provide to prove that they are. Your company just has too much to lose to not seek legal help navigating a lawsuit.
3. You Have Plans to File a Patent
Filing a patent is an arduous process that has strict requirements in order for your company to be granted a patent for its idea or invention. There are also fees that you have to pay to apply for the patent. Before starting the process and potentially losing time and money, meet with a business lawyer to make sure your idea or invention qualifies for a patent.
When You Don't Need a Business Attorney
Unless you have legal questions concerning how you should set your business up, you can usually set your company up on your own. Some of the items that you can take care include, selecting your company's legal structure, completing and submitting tax forms to the IRS, and picking a name for your company. Though much of the paperwork required to establish a new company is time-consuming and tedious, it usually doesn't require legal assistance.
To learn more, contact a business attorney like Strauss Troy.