Why Your Small Business Needs a Good Attorney 24 Aug 2018


Back before radar, ships used to have a high vantage point where someone would stand and look for trouble. It was called the crow’s nest. When someone was in the crow’s nest, they could see far ahead of where the ship was going and spot any obstacles that might get in their way.

Small businesses don’t exactly need a crow’s nest, but they do need someone who can warn them before they run into trouble. A good attorney can spot legal trouble from a mile away and help you adjust course, so your business doesn’t sink.

In this article, we’ll consider some key benefits of having legal help and why your small business needs a good attorney.

They Can Spot Problems a Mile Away

As a business owner, you may already understand some degree of business law related to your industry, but a business lawyer can spot potential legal problems with remarkable accuracy. Since business lawyers have a more comprehensive knowledge of the laws that affect your industry, they can evaluate your company to see whether you’re following them.

For example, in Massachusetts, it’s illegal to sell rabbits, ducks, or chickens that have been dyed a different color. If you sell any of these animals and want to expand into the Massachusetts area, talking to your lawyer before you start can save you some, admittedly ridiculous, legal trouble.

Also, because lawyers stay up to date on legal developments, they can identify issues that weren’t a problem in the past but are now a red flag. For example, asking someone about their previous salary used to be a standard interview question, but some states have now made it illegal to ask applicants this question. A business lawyer can help keep your business legally compliant and help you avoid issues that could result in a lawsuit.

Hire an Attorney Before the Lawsuit

For a lawyer to help you effectively, they need time to learn about your business. This will help them analyze what you’re doing and detect any compliance issues that could result in problems later on. If you wait until you have legal issues to hire an attorney, it’s too late. The goal should be to avoid legal trouble, not reduce what you have to pay.

Lawyers Can Help You Make Better Business Decisions

Business people reviewing a legal contract

You may know that lawyers can help with lawsuits and legal problems, but did you know they can help you make better business decisions? It’s true; lawyers can act as legal consultants that advise you on the legality of your ideas. Below is a list of situations that lawyers can advise you on.

  • How to organize your business. Attorneys can explain the benefits and drawbacks of both corporations and limited liability companies, and they can help you figure out which is best for your business.
  • Whether or not you should sign a contract. Lawyers can draft and revise contracts for you. They can also explain what legal recourse you can take if the other party breaks a contract.
  • Negotiating real estate contracts. Leases are usually made to benefit the landlord, so having your lawyer review the lease can give you the power to adjust and add addendums that balance the agreement.

Attorneys Can Help You Make the Right Hire the Right Way

Legally speaking, the world of hiring has changed considerably, and many companies have not changed with it. In fact, some businesses have faced considerable lawsuits because they have not kept up with hiring laws. Having an attorney audit your hiring process can save you from serious legal trouble.

Attorneys can advise on different aspects of your hiring process, such as:

  • What questions you are allowed to ask job applicants. Some questions can only be asked if it pertains to the duties the job requires, and other questions have been made illegal.
  • Which factors you can consider for the job position. For example, if the job requires strong English skills, that factor can be considered. But if it doesn’t require strong English skills, taking that into account when hiring could be discriminatory and present legal issues.

Next Steps for Hiring

Like the person in the crow’s nest, a good lawyer can help your business navigate rough seas and avoid obstacles to your business’s growth. In this article, we’ve considered how a good lawyer can help you avoid legal issues before they become problems, make better business decisions, and hire new talent legally. But what about the facets of hiring that don’t involve legal counsel?

For more tips on making smart hiring decisions, check out our ebook Supercharge Your Hiring Process. This 11-step checklist will help you analyze and improve your current hiring practices. Download it today and start improving your business’s hiring process.