Throughout the many ups and downs of starting and growing a business, a knowledgeable attorney can be one of your best resources. Legal knowledge and competence can help your company through the seed, startup, establishment, expansion, and maturity stages. Though every business and situation is unique, most often, the sooner you employ the help of an attorney, the better. Navigating the business formation process, protecting your intellectual property (IP), ensuring proper contract management, and avoiding lawsuits and litigation are just a few of the reasons to seek legal advice when growing your business.
1. Successfully Navigate the Business Formation Process
Selecting the best business entity for your company is an important step in building your business. There are many facets of the business formation process that can benefit from a seasoned advisor and set your business on a healthy trajectory from the very beginning of its life. Whether it’s as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, corporation, or other structure, an attorney can help to register and properly organize your company. And if you’re past this stage already, the following are other instances when an attorney can be helpful to your growing business.
2. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Once your company is formed, protecting the company’s assets is the next step. The intellectual property of your company could be one of your most valuable assets. Because of the technical language and legal proceedings of registering your IP, a lawyer whose practice focuses on IP can help to simplify the process. It can be reassuring to know that all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed when taking this important step of safeguarding your IP. An attorney can also help confirm that you are not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property.
3. Develop Credibility and Strong Relationships
After a business has been properly formed and its assets protected, it should be prepared for healthy growth. Part of that growth may include evolving ownership structures and investments from outside parties. An attorney can provide professional assistance with these processes and help to put your company’s best foot forward when exploring new ventures. Building smart, sound relationships with new partners and investors greatly benefits your chances of success and adds inherent value to your company.
4. Ensure Proper Contract Management
Consistently well-written contracts and careful contract review are vital to quality business transactions. Especially in agreements with founders, investors, or partners, all potential issues should be addressed and the fine print scrutinized before signing. You should thoroughly understand your rights and obligations within the contract, what industry standard is, and how, if at all, your contract deviates from the norm. A business attorney will be well versed in these matters and able to clarify when necessary and provide additional recommendations.
Non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, contracts with distributors or dealers, agreements with investors, and even contractual agreements with customers are just a few of the many agreements you may need to make as your business grows. Having an experienced lawyer on your team can ensure compliance can help avoid contractual disputes.
5. Avoid or Get Help Settling Lawsuits
Litigation is costly to small businesses both in time and money. And when it comes to lawsuits that could be detrimental to your company, preventing is better than curing. By seeking support and advice before legal complications arise, your company will have provisions in place to address potential areas of concern. Some of the high-impact forms of litigation that a small business might encounter include class action lawsuits, tax litigation, disputes with competitors or contractors, fraud, and copyright infringement cases. With the help of a business lawyer, however, you can be sure that your company is in compliance with regulations and can preemptively avoid costly litigation.
Conclusion: Seek Legal Advice When Growing Your Business for Greater Potential
While starting and growing a business, you may face many challenges. Entity formation, protection of intellectual property, contract specificity and compliance, and costly lawsuits are just a few of many areas where it is wise to seek legal advice when growing your business. Throughout the formation, growth, and acquisition stages, a business attorney’s counsel can provide resources, advice, and support that are essential for your success.
Throughout the world, many startups, seasoned, and growing businesses rely on the experienced insight of Ziliak Law for advice on day-to-day legal issues on a broad spectrum of business and corporate matters, including entity formation, capital structure, employment, and intellectual property matters.
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