Running a small business is a great opportunity for people who like to do things for themselves. Small business owners often create, build, market, and deliver the products as a one-person operation. They also manage the books, clean the shop, and do everything else that needs to be done. This experience conditions them to think that they can do whatever is required of their business, and many times, they’re right. In other situations, though, it’s best to bring in a professional. One example of that is when legal matters are involved. The following are examples of the ways a good attorney can help a small business.
Planning the Structure
To work right, a business must first be built right. Its structure has a significant impact on issues such as taxation, liability, and ownership. A business owner should consult a qualified attorney, preferably before actually starting the business, to determine what option to use in order to achieve the goals of the business.
Protecting the Ideas
Business is built on innovation, and good ideas are always a target of thieves. A creative business owner may be so wrapped up in pushing that better mousetrap to market that he or she may forget to protect the creation. Patent and copyright laws are designed to protect entrepreneurs, and an attorney can help keep ideas safe and secure.
Many business owners expect to operate their shop as long as they are able, but others are more interested in an eventual sale. Either group should work with an attorney to set up conditions for it to be sold to a new owner or to transfer to the founder’s heirs upon his or her death. If not properly structured, these transitions can prove costly and destructive.
Even a very small business is likely to enter into several contracts, for everything from supplies to office space. These documents can be complicated and confusing, and any misunderstanding has the potential to generate huge financial costs. The use of professional business transaction law services will ensure that the owner is protected in all contractual activity.
The independence it takes to be a successful small business owner can overpower the idea that outside help is needed, but when it comes to legal matters, it’s essential to have a good partner. An experienced business law firm can provide the advice, protection, and planning needed to keep a small business successful and safe for years to come.