Two key resources that every business, big or small, needs early on, is an accountant and an attorney. An accountant is obviously the person who will help keep your finances in order, and as money is the primary reason most businesses are formed, it makes all the sense in the world ensure that a businesses finances are in order
So from setting up your accounting software, to keeping track of all your business financial statements, to collecting information that is necessary for state, federal, and local tax returns and much more.
An attorney on the other hand is somewhat of an entirely different proposition. So while an accountant is perhaps someone who will practically be needed in the everyday running of the business, to keep track of all cash inflows and outflows as has been previously stated, a lawyer on the other hand will very often not be needed in the same frequency. There are however very critical times in the business when a business attorney absolutely must be involved in your business.
To start with, a New York based business for instance, that is just starting out is likely to want to retain the services of a New York Contract Attorney to do things such as draft proper contract formation documents like a memorandum and articles of association; or to draft the contract of employment that future employees of the company will sign, among others.
Then once the business has started gaining momentum, a business attorney in New York should be brought on board to help with other vital aspects of the business that can have a huge negative impact on the business. So things like zoning compliance, intellectual property and copyright matters, as well as formal liabilities and potential lawsuits the business might face, given the fact that in any given year, a whooping 36% – 56% of small business are involved in one type of litigation or another, for which the services of a litigation attorney would need to be retained
Why Should You Hire a Business Attorney?
Even though most businesses are usually wary about incurring any additional or unnecessary costs, the fact remains that some expenses are often unavoidable, and in fact, avoiding them could spell doom for the business.
So given the age old saying that prevention is better than cure, it is therefore much better to prevent a problem from cropping up, or at least be be ready to deal with it when it does arise.
Having an attorney in your corner to first of all put in place measures to mitigate against some of these issue cropping up, and then also having them around if the issue does come up, so that they can help deal with it effectively, is just good business sense.
While all business owners are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs, they should be very careful about cutting critical costs that could have a devastating impact on the business. So while the expense of a business attorney might seem unnecessary, the value they bring to the business could be a spell the difference between the business staying afloat, or shutting down for good.
A few other reasons why you should hire a business attorney are:
- A small business attorney can recommend a business owner as to what would be the best entity for their business.
- They can help you avoid legal problems before they get more complicated, or even before they arise. Most business owners find themselves involved in legal disputes quite often. Whether with employees, customers, business partners, the government, etc.. Anyone of these disputes can end up costing the business thousands of dollars, both in legal and other costs.
- Business attorneys can also help resolve conflicts before they become serious legal disputes. There are also some legal disputes that cannot be evaded regardless of how good of an attorney you have. Once these disputes break out, resolving them is key to your business functions and expenses. A business lawyer skilled in alternative dispute resolution will be invaluable to your business at such times.
When Should You Hire a Business Attorney?
One potential answer to that question is as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very clear cut answer. You might decide to hire an attorney only when you need them, and this might make both business and financial sense for some business, while for some other business, hiring them only when you need them might be doing so too late, as the damage would already have been done.
So perhaps the best answer to the question posed is: it depends. It will depend on the specific circumstance of the business in question, as some businesses might need the services of an attorney but will be unable to afford such attorney’s fees. Other businesses might be able to afford such fees but do not proactively retain the services of an attorney to ward off any legal troubles.
Tony Crighton is a practicing attorney at the law firm of Small Business Attorney NYC, who are specialists in all legal matters related to small business law. He has been a practicing attorney
for over 15 years and has a diverse and broad range of experience.