From hiring and firing employees to purchasing inventory and paying invoices, the challenges of running a business are easy to see. Unfortunately, without proper understanding and management, you may experience a great deal of physical, emotional, and financial stress. Thankfully, consulting a business law attorney before making any final decisions can save you from this potential distress. Here are a few reasons to consider hiring an attorney to help with your small business matters.
You Need to Implement a Business Structure
Deciding how your business will be structured will be one of the most important elements in ownership. Of course, most new business owners are surprised by the options available to them, so sitting down with an attorney to weigh out the pros and cons of each can be helpful.
Setting up a sole proprietorship is the easiest and least expensive option. If setting up a sole proprietorship or partnership, the owner(s) will be personally responsible for the debts of the business. This means creditors will come after you (and your partner if you have a partnership) and your personal bank accounts if you are unable to satisfy the debts.
Setting up an LLC will protect your personal finances in case accounts go into default or your business needs to file bankruptcy.
There are many options to consider, so it is essential to discuss your options beforehand with an attorney.
You Have Employees
If you are like most businesses, you will need employees. Whether you will be or have already hired contractors or traditional workers, ensuring they are hired and trained in the most effective and legal manner possible is imperative.
Hiring contractors and traditional employees requires specific steps that you may not understand. An attorney can guide you through the legal matters and requirements involving each specific type of employment. For example, drafting an agreement or contract that outlines specific requirements and pay will be necessary if you choose to bring on contractors.
A business lawyer can also help guide you through the process of firing an employee or terminating a contract with an independent contractor. This will reduce the risk of the employee filing a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit against you and your business.
Lastly, an attorney may be necessary if you have employees involved in accidents or illnesses related to your business. These employees may file a worker's compensation claim against the company, which may result in payouts that you are not prepared for. Consulting an attorney on these matters will ensure you have adequate coverage to handle any potential worker's compensation lawsuits.
Your Business Impacts the Environment
You may be surprised by how your small business impacts the air, land, sewers, and water. Even if you are running a very small company, your business must comply with the nation's environmental laws.
If your business releases anything into the air, you must obtain the appropriate permits to ensure you comply with the Clean Air Act. An attorney can help you document the required information, which will include your business purpose, type and amount of pollutants, and the steps you are taking to reduce the air pollution.
Laws are in place regarding methods of waste disposal. Without following federal guidelines, you are not only harming the environment, but you will also be facing expensive fines, legal fees, and a negative business reputation that will follow you for many years.
Owning and operating a business of any size is difficult, but utilizing the advice of a business attorney can be helpful. If you are starting a small business, consider investing in an attorney for advice and assistance that will protect you, your finances, and your employees.