Business owners tend to prefer to be independent whenever possible, choosing to attempt to solve their problems themselves rather than seek outside help. However, there are many situations when working without the advice and guidance of an attorney will lead to unnecessary legal problems that could have been easily prevented. By investing in the advice of an experienced business attorney in these situations, you can be prepared to prevent and handle possible legal issues that might affect you or your business.
It is natural to want to rush through the early stages of business planning and to make a hasty decision with regards to your business’s choice of entity in order to move things forward. However, these early choices should not be taken lightly: choice of entity determines the legal structure under which your business operates, and an improper choice will limit your business’s potential and can create numerous problems down the line related to management and taxation.
Unfortunately, many of the differences between LLCs, corporations, and LPs are not obvious, especially to new entrepreneurs. Make sure you choose the type of entity best suited to your business by discussing your business plan with an attorney up front, before formation.
General Business Counsel
Businesses may avoid seeking preventative legal advice, treating it as an unnecessary added expense. In the long run, hiring general counsel can save money: by taking a proactive approach to potential legal issues, you can avoid the huge costs of time and money that come with reacting to each problem as it arises. By preventing problems before they occur seeking out and hiring experienced legal counsel becomes an investment.
Responding to Legal Demands
What you do or say in response to demand letters and other requests can affect your legal rights. In many cases, what you say will determine your options moving forward, and you may be unable to take back what you said. A poor response to legal demands can potentially lead to litigation, so always have these responses drafted by a business attorney who is able to translate what you would like to say into what needs to be said in order to best protect your interests.
Do not rely on DIY or form-based contracts, as they tend to be poorly written and therefore rarely accurately reflect the desires of each party right out of the box. Even if they are relatively well written, they may be written in favor of the opposing party. Though they may be cheaper at the time, this lack of quality inevitably causes problems down the road. You can go a long way towards avoiding disagreements and litigation by ensuring that your business exclusively uses well-written and easily understandable, policies, procedures, contracts, and other legal documents drafted by an experienced business attorney.
It is just as important to have a business attorney review any contracts that you have been asked to sign as it is to have an attorney’s help with drafting a contract. An experienced business attorney can decipher the hidden intentions within the legalese of a contract, clarifying the meaning of the contract and making sure that you do not unknowingly commit yourself and your business to any unwanted terms. They can also aid your business in negotiation, working towards a contract that more closely meets your needs.
Business Real Estate
Any important business transaction should be carefully examined by an attorney, and real estate transactions are no exception to this rule. Whether buying, selling, or leasing, you should have a business attorney with real estate experience draft any documents which are required of you and look over any documents you have been asked to sign. Failing to do so can result in less than optimal terms, and can even cause a transaction to fall through completely. A business attorney can negotiate the provisions of a real estate deal that are not related to the price, making sure that all of the terms of the transaction meet your needs.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Merging your business with another or acquiring another company is as lucrative as it is risky. Though a merger or an acquisition can greatly increase the value of your business, it can just as easily destroy the value of your business if done incorrectly. For that reason, it is essential that M&A transactions are never done without the assistance of a skilled business attorney. Legal counsel will guide you through the process from start to finish, through planning, drafting of agreements, and negotiations, ensuring that your business’s merger or acquisition has a successful outcome.
We Can Help
A business attorney is an essential part of any business at any stage through planning, growth, and maturity. At Bailey Law Firm, we represent businesses in the reviewing and drafting of documents, compliance, negotiations, maintaining corporate records, and more. If you would like to meet with one of our attorney’s to discuss business, please contact us with any questions by clicking here or by calling our office at 832.510.2900 to schedule a complimentary consultation.