As a small business owner, you wear lots of hats: manager, HR, custodian, customer service, sales… One hat you shouldn’t wear, though, is that of an attorney. There are times when it would be in your best interest (and that of your company) to have a relationship with a business lawyer. Here are eight specific instances.
When the Business Is Created
Establishing a business requires more than simply hanging an “Open” sign in the shop window. There are documents, loans, contracts, incorporating decisions, hiring practices, partnerships, and plans of succession to consider. Don’t assume that online legal services understand the nuances of Texas law or that they are as thorough as you want them to be. A Fort Worth business lawyer can walk you through each step of the process and advise you from a legal point of view so you make the best decision for your new company.
When You Transition a Business From a DBA
Perhaps your side gig has blossomed into a full-time opportunity for you. That means you are looking into shifting the business from a DBA to its own entity. You will have to set up a company agreement to do so. One of the benefits of incorporating is to limit the liability to you as an individual by making the company the responsible entity. This is what happens when you form an LLC, and in order to form an LLC, you need a company agreement. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer help you draft the agreement.
When Your Business Is Being Sold or There Are New Owners
Any time there is a transition of ownership, you should have a lawyer look over the paperwork to make sure your interests are protected and that all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted.
When You’re Licensing or Selling a Large Portion of the Business
As your business expands, there may be a portion of the business that gets the attention of another individual or entity. It could be a specific product you manufacture or a portion of the business itself. Patents may be applicable, and we can refer you to appropriate counsel for that, but the licensing and selling portion of this business deal should be done with a business attorney at your side.
When You’re Adding Employee Benefits or Profit Sharing
A growing business does well to treat its employees well. When you decide to add employee benefits or include profit sharing as a benefit, let a business lawyer help you with the necessary paperwork and contracts.
When You’re Winding Up the Business
All good things must come to an end, whether that be your tenure as the owner of a business, as was mentioned previously, or the business itself. There are any number of reasons for a business to end, but that’s not the point of this post. When it’s time to shutter the windows, you’ll need a lawyer to help you make sure ties have been cleanly cut.
When the Business is Involved in a Dispute
Unfortunately, disputes are part of business. It could be a contractual dispute in which a customer claims breach of contract or an employee dispute over an incident or something in the employee manual. In the midst of disputes such as these, we recommend you retain legal counsel until the dispute is resolved.
When the Business is Adding/Removing a Partner
Sometimes business partners no longer want to be partners. Sometimes a solo business owner welcomes a business partner who complements your strengths and weaknesses. In either case, the should be an agreement in writing, and a business attorney should be involved in drafting said agreement.
If you’re facing any of these situations, the business attorneys of Lovelace Law P.C. are here to help. Call us today, for the sake of your small business.