When Does an Entrepreneur Need Small Business Lawyer?

After this, I give up.  Probably.

When does a small business need a lawyer?  That is a good question that most small business owners do not ask.  Actually, many small business owners may not even think about a lawyer until they have an issue that is causing them to lose sleep, such as being faced with a lawsuit.  What most entrepreneurs don’t think about is that if they were to bring an attorney into their planning process when they are just starting their business, they would probably be able to avoid many of the issues they are faced with later in the cycle of their small business.

A small business lawyer who works closely with entrepreneurs knows what the issues are that small business owners will face in growing their business and will be able to guide them through the planning and growth process.  The best time for an entrepreneur to start building a relationship with a lawyer is when you are just forming your business.  Why, you might ask?  Well, a small business lawyer who works with entrepreneurs will know the questions to ask you to get off on the right foot.  The topics a lawyer should cover with an entrepreneur begin with forming the correct business structure.  Now, a small business lawyer who works with entrepreneurs will know to ask you questions not only about your current plans, but what your plans are down the road.  All of the responses to those questions will back you into the correct entity to form for your budding business.

Furthermore, a small business lawyer who works with entrepreneurs will probably ask you questions about your risk tolerance and risk mitigation.  There are several ways to mitigate your potential risks as an entrepreneur, one is through having the proper insurance.  A small business lawyer who works with entrepreneurs will know what questions to ask about your insurance and should be able to guide you through the various types of insurance you should consider, and which insurances you should have as well as those you might want to consider, but are not necessarily mandatory.

Another aspect of your business a lawyer who works with entrepreneurs will discuss with you is the kinds of contracts entrepreneurs should have in place.  The correct contracts for you will depend on the kind of business you have, but having these contracts in place will help mitigate your risks, too.

A lawyer who works with entrepreneurs should also be able to provide a road map for your business and provide advice beyond the strictly or traditional legal advice.  These are all great reasons to consult with and hire a lawyer who works with entrepreneurs as you launch your business.  When do you think an entrepreneur should first hire a lawyer?

Integrated General Counsel
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