If you are a small business owner, you should consider working with a small business lawyer. A small business lawyer can become a strategic partner, helping you and your business embrace exciting opportunities and avoid unwanted disputes.
There are many instances when you should consult a small business lawyer. Here are our top 10.
1. When acquiring a business
There are many advantages to purchasing an existing business, such as profitability and being established with customers already. However, it can be expensive and issues can arise with employees if they push back on new business practices. You will also want to make sure you aren’t taking on any of the former owner’s liabilities. A small business lawyer can help navigate all these issues.
2. When selling a business
Selling a business can include selling your tangible and intangible assets. This arduous process involves negotiating, drafting formal agreements and closing the deal.
Minimizing taxes and potential liability issues are some of the main concerns for buyers and sellers trying to form a deal. Hiring a lawyer and financial advisor from the outset of this process can ensure you get the best deal possible.
3. When choosing a business structure
Before choosing a business structure, learn about the different options available here. We have already compiled a list of the pros and cons of each option. However, you still might be unsure as to which structure is best suited for you and your business, so we can guide you through this process.
4. When changing business structures
Perhaps your business has changed or grown to the point where you want to change the structure of the business. We’ve previously covered the advantages and disadvantages of each structure and how to go from a sole proprietorship to getting incorporated.
5. When incorporating a company
Navigating the many forms and legal documents required to incorporate your small business can be overwhelming. Hiring a small business lawyer can give you assurance the process is being done properly, as well as allowing you time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Check out this blog and find out when you should incorporate your small business.
6. When partnering with others
Before going into business with a partner, you should clearly outline both parties’ rights, duties and obligations clearly in a written document. This is most commonly known as a partnership agreement.
7. When investing in a business
Before investing in any business, do your due diligence by investigating the company’s financial and legal history. By doing this, you could reveal unwanted liabilities in the business that could change how you choose to invest. A small business lawyer can assist in this process while providing guidance on how or whether to proceed with the investment.
8. When leasing commercial real estate
Leasing commercial real estate for your small business can be very exciting. But don’t go in blind. Ensure your intended use for the premises is permitted under the appropriate zoning laws and take the time to read through and understand your lease.
It is advisable to have your small business lawyer review your commercial lease agreement before signing in order to protect your business from unexpected costs or concerns.
9. When hiring employees
Having an employment contract is essential to legally define the relationship between your business and your employees. The employment contract should be in writing and clearly lay out the terms of the employment, such as duties/responsibilities, compensation, benefits and the right to terminate (including notice requirements for the employer and the employee).
Further, employment contracts are subject to provincial laws, so knowing the laws specific to your region is essential. Having a small business lawyer can help keep your employment agreements in line with the law.
10. Liability protection
Even if your business is small, having liability protection in place could protect your business in a case where your employee, product or services cause or are alleged to have caused injury or damage to any party.
Does your small business need liability insurance? Check out a previous post we did outlining the basics of insurance.
Does your small business need guidance with one of these topics? Get in touch today to consult with a small business lawyer.