Starting a business entails legal risks. Before you sell your first product or serve your first customer, your business entity must enter into contractual relationships. Leases, supplier agreements, and sales contracts are for starters. Virtually everything your business does, from interviewing potential employees to advertising, carries legal ramifications, and we haven’t even considered Uncle Sam yet.
Tax planning must start before anything. Your entity must be incorporated, or you face personal liability. It’s important to choose the most tax-advantaged status for your situation.
These legal implications may sound daunting at first, but they are actually quite routine for a law firm experienced in representing commercial interests. By choosing the right law firm to represent your enterprise from the start, all of these issues can be taken care of quickly and painlessly by your law firm.
When looking for a law firm to handle your startup, there are several attributes to keep an eye out for:
You want a lawyer experienced in representing small businesses. The needs of a startup and the needs of a firm with hundreds or thousands of employees differ greatly. Make sure they understand your unique needs.
For example, if you need to hire a dozen employees to get your business running, you’ll need to establish a hiring procedure and create an employee handbook. Many small business owners write these themselves and then have an attorney review them. Because such documents constitute legal contracts, never release them to employees without your attorney’s okay. The same goes for the terms of your sales contracts. You are bound by what you promise your customers in writing.
What are your legal options when a customer refuses to pay? If a creditor threatens you with legal action, what can you do? An employee complains that a manager has violated their civil rights. How can you protect your company from liability?
When questions like this arise, you need a responsive attorney. Many times, taking the right proactive steps quickly saves your company lots of money and saves you lots of stress.
The fee structure is important. Is it hourly? Are any services provided on a flat fee basis? Are there services that add extra costs?
Broad commercial litigation experience comes in handy. Law firms such as Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP have experience with all types of commercial litigation. Working with a firm experienced in civil litigation from the start provides value because the firm knows your business.