How do you know it’s time to get a lawyer? Many people wait till they’re like this guy:
For a business owner, hitting rock bottom might look like being sued, getting caught up in a nasty “divorce” with your business partner, having a rogue employee steal your intellectual property…the list goes on. You definitely need a lawyer if you’ve hit rock bottom, but a good lawyer could have kept you from hitting that point in the first place. If you find yourself in any of the following scenarios, it’s time to lawyer up!
- Starting a business – whether you’re quitting your day job or starting a side hustle, there are a whole lot of considerations when it comes to starting a business. What corporate form do you choose? Do you need trademark protection? What kind of insurance should you get? Do you need form contracts to use with customers and vendors? It’s worth investing a little on the legal front to avoid pitfalls in the future.
- Entering a big contract – if you’re doing a deal that’s worth something north of your monthly revenue, you should seek legal counsel. Let a lawyer talk you through the contract so that you understand your rights and obligations.
- Large purchases – especially if you’re financing! If you’re unrepresented, a lender may try to get you to sign away your house and your first-born to secure a purchase for your business.
- Taking on a business partner – no one likes talking about divorce on the eve of the wedding, but when it comes to taking on a business partner, you have to get over the “prenup awkwardness.” No matter how good of buddies you are, you need water-tight documents, such as an operating agreement, that clearly delineate responsibilities. As we always say, good documents keep business partners friends and friends business partners.
- Hiring employees – the field of employment law can be a minefield for the unwary. You’ll want to consult a lawyer to decide, first off, whether you should be hiring employees at all (vs. independent contractors). This decision will drive what legal measures you need to take.
As entrepreneurs at law, we’ve been through all of the above. Let Campbell Teague help keep you from rock bottom — it’s a lonely place to be!