As an entrepreneur, you probably take pride in doing things on your own. So why would you ever want to hire a small business attorney?
Business owners know that there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. With so many tasks demanding your attention, chances are you're not only bound to overlook some important considerations, but you may not fully understand the legal implications of your actions either.
With that said, here are five reasons you may want to consider hiring a small business attorney:
Licensing. As a business owner, you may have many ideas and products that you want to be exclusive to you and your business. This includes issues dealing with copyright and patents. Without a proper license for certain things, you could end up in a drawn-out legal battle over ownership of your intellectual property. An experienced intellectual property lawyer doesn't just dabble in this sort of thing, it's what he does for a living.
Employee and employer liability. What happens if your employee gets hurt while working for your business? What if they cause a customer to get injured, or even a passerby? Are you liable? Is the employee liable? These common questions about an employer's liability for an employee's acts can get complicated, depending on the circumstances, and may need legal attention -- especially if you want to avoid paying even more money for acts that aren't your fault.
Startup concerns. Do you have a startup? These days, many small business owners are looking to tap into the startup industry. This may include doing research on topics that may sound foreign to you, such as those related to the Internet and e-commerce. A small business attorney who specializes in the field can help you with all the techie nuances that you're unfamiliar with.
Other specialties. Just like any other profession, your business may have a niche specialty that a general attorney may not be able to handle. A small business attorney specializing in the particular field that your business operates in can ensure that everything runs smoothly, according to your particular line of work.
Contracts. Last but not least, there will be many contracts that you'll deal with in the course of running your small business: employee contracts, contracts with your customers, contracts with independent contractors. Contracts often contain complicated language and hidden fine print that you're not aware of. An experienced contracts attorney would be trained to spot out these issues for you and to look out for others.
Aside from hiring a lawyer directly, there's another potential option for small business owners: Prepaid personal legal plans, like those offered by LegalStreet, include attorney contract reviews (up to 10 pages) and on-call access to local lawyers who can answer a wide range of legal questions. LegalStreet plans are also affordable, starting at less than $13 a month.
So, while there aren't enough seconds in a minute, minutes in a second, etc., you can at least be rest assured that there are plenty of lawyers out there who can help you with your small business.
Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.