Small-business owners and startup founders are fairly optimistic about 2014, as many surveys have shown. Business growth is a top priority for most owners and founders, and it is a goal many will put their efforts toward in the year to come. For those businesses that see success in the area of growth, legal protection may be their next top priority.
According to Fox Small Business News, more than half of small-business owners surveyed by Rocket Lawyer had consulted an attorney in 2013. The concerns that prompted these owners to seek counsel were varied, and included complying with government regulations, debt collection, lawsuits, incorporation, intellectual property issues and fraud. These are legal worries that can confront any small-business owner, and without successful resolution can seriously harm cash flow and other measures of a company's success.
Here are some areas of consideration for small-business owners curious about how to handle legal issues:
Understanding the basic shape of the law as it applies to small businesses can be extremely helpful for owners and founders. This knowledge can help prevent trouble and indicate when it is necessary to consult an attorney. There are resources available, from books to websites, that can help small-business owners learn the basics of the laws that apply to them and to their companies. Certain tasks, like drafting a simple contract, can be done in-house and possibly examined by a lawyer. This can save money over using legal help for every business circumstance that involves the law.
Try a general consultation if there are questions
If there are serious questions within a company of a legal nature - such as who owns intellectual property created by employees, or whether it is the best idea to incorporate - it may be beneficial to have a preliminary meeting with an attorney. Business lawyers can help determine whether further legal help is necessary for a business. It's often better to err on the side of caution when legal help may be necessary rather than leaving a situation to progress without consultation with an attorney.
It is always advisable to consult a legal professional when the situation calls for it - or even seems as though it may require such consultation in the future. It is important to preserve a growing business in all ways - financially and legally alike.