5 Reason Why Every Company Should Have a Legal Advisor
Many Business owners and entrepreneurs work diligently to develop and launch their businesses. Most are involved in the day-to-day functions and do everything they can to ensure their business is a success. However, putting systems in place to run a successful business is just half the battle; the other half has to do with protecting what you have built. Protecting what you have built involves building a legal wall of protection to shield businesses from unforeseen issues that could result in expensive legal costs. If you are a business owner, below are five reasons why your business needs a legal advisor.
Key Reasons to Have a Legal Advisor Onboard
Before we dive in, let’s start by pointing out that most business owners assume that an attorney is only needed after something has gone wrong. However, having an attorney on board can serve as a means to prevent specific legal actions from occurring. It allows you to 1) respond to legal actions quickly; 2) seek legal advice to get assistance with legal issues before they occur and 3) help with asset protection. Having an attorney on board also allows you to 4) obtain assistance with everyday business issues. Having an attorney on board is like 5) having a legal partner at your disposal. Here’s how each of these areas can benefit you as a business owner.
1) Respond to Legal Actions Quickly
As a business owner, your business is exposed to a wide variety of potential threats that could happen at a moments notice. How and when you respond to these issues could have a direct impact on a wide variety of areas, such as
- increased legal cost
- exposure to confidential information
- loss from damages
- security breaches and so forth
Often, the longer an issue is left unattended, the more expensive the damages could become. In addition to that, sometimes having access to an attorney causes others posing legal threats to consider other options to resolve the issue. When individuals and other businesses realize that you have access to an attorney — meaning someone to assist you with fighting your battles, litigating on your behalf and other legal assistance, they tend to take you more seriously. More businesses have legal issues resolved in their favor with the representation of Litigation Lawyers than those who do not receive representation.
2) Addressing Legal Issues Before They Occur
When you have an attorney on board, you can also obtain legal advice before legal issues occur. For example, if you have a logo, intellectual property or other assets that require a registered trademark, copyrights or other forms of protection, having an attorney onboard beforehand allows you to protect your intellectual property in advance.
Another example could involve employees. Often employees provide help or harm to your business; mainly after an employee gets terminated. They may attempt to resolve issues by taking things into their own hands. However, if legal clauses are added to employment contracts, it will determine the proper course of action for separation procedures. In doing so, it will reduce the chances of inappropriate actions from taking place. And because these agreements were developed and signed in advance, other potential legal threats or actions that may be filed against the company can be significantly minimized. It could also become null and void altogether.
Additionally, employees who experience employee-related injuries may decide to sue your company. Having a legal clause in the employment agreement that states your company is only responsible for the cost of the damages as opposed to other excessive costs generally associated with lawsuits could save your company money.
Have you ever considered working with a partner? If so, having the proper legal structure set up for your company in advance is critical as well as having the appropriate partnership agreement in place. In most cases, partnerships fail due to lack of performance, lack of meeting financial obligations or other issues. But, when partnerships are dissolved, knowing that legal ramifications were put in place in advance will help partners dissolve their business appropriately.
3) Asset protection
As business owners acquire more assets, they must consider the exposure their assets receive. These assets not only consist off fixed assets, such as furniture and fixtures, general business and operating equipment and computer systems, but intellectual property and their database as well. Often, too many business owners are unaware of how this process works — some attempt to address the issue themselves without the proper guidance. Seeking the advice of an attorney can provide you with the assistance you need to protect your assets adequately.
4) Obtaining Assistance With Typical Business Issues
Based on the type of business you operate, having an attorney onboard can assist you with some of the common business issues that business owners face every day. Business issues may include reviewing employment contracts, reviewing warranties, reviewing sales and engagement letters, getting involved with contractual or other disputes between other businesses concerning warranties, services provided or faulty products sold, etc.
Business owners could benefit from having an attorney provide them with advice regarding these and other common issues that business owners face from day to day.
5) Having a Legal Partner at Your Disposal
When you have an attorney on board, is like having a legal partner that you can turn to who’s right at your disposal. It allows attorneys to become familiar with your business, including your industry, your customers and potential threats that your company may face. To that end, finding an attorney that specializes in your industry can add even more value to your business.
Although, as a business owner, there are some basic things that you can do on your own, to reduce the legal risk associated with running a business, it’s important to know where to draw the line – meaning knowing what you can do on your own and when you need to bring on a professional legal advisor who can assist in more ways than you may have imagined.