When it comes to running your own company, there are countless obstacles and pitfalls that can and will test your mettle. This is especially true for small businesses and new business owners, because they lack the fiscal safety net with which to recover from missteps. Legal problems are less than ideal at any time, but legal battles can and will decimate small businesses that can’t properly avoid legal trouble or avoid it entirely. Here’s what you need to know.
Different Attorneys for Different Circumstances
Matters of the law are complex, and that’s why you need professional legal counsel in the first place. What’s more, there are several different categories of law that a lawyer may specialize in, each of which is rich with nuances all its own. Therefore, it is essential for a business owner to understand how to assess their legal needs in order to find the right kind of representation in court or elsewhere. For example, you can Google “DUI lawyers Seattle,” for example, in order to find representation in a case of driving under the influence, whereas a copyright case will require the assistance of an IP lawyer. In order to get the best possible representation, you have to know what to ask for.
A Lawyer On Retainer
While there are an assortment of different types of law and legal counsel, there is often the need for a more general lawyer you can call upon for the majority of your needs. This kind of attorney will likely have a specialization of their own or none at all, meaning that you’ll need to find the right attorney for the kinds of problems you expect to deal with most often. That way, you can hire that lawyer on retainer in order to ensure that you always have a legal aid contingency plan outside of more specific and unusual edge cases. In essence, a legal retainer is the judicial equivalent of insurance; you’ll be paying them a fee in case you eventually need the help, rather than for services rendered. This kind of protection can be utterly necessary for ensuring that you get the help you need when you need it without having to scramble to find legal counsel at the 11th hour.
Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual property is many things, but the average person will likely be familiar with the concept of copyrights. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents form the backbone of the system in place to protect the intellectual property of businesses and citizens alike, and each of them have different applications, limits, and rules associated with them. For matters of this kind of IP protection, you’ll need to consult an IP attorney, and this is true of both the act of registering a copyright or patent as well as the act of defending your property in the event of an infringement. Generally speaking, copyrights apply to creative works, trademarks apply to brand signifiers, and patents apply to mechanical designs. Any business has need of trademarks to protect their name, logo, and other branding iconography, but the applications for patents and copyrights will be of selective importance based on the business model in question.
It’s no surprise that money is a constant concern for businesses. Money is the goal of any business, but it is also a vital resource for keeping things running smoothly. However, money can also form the basis of a variety of potential legal troubles. For instance, businesses will be expected to report their quarterly and annual earnings, and failing to do so accurate can result in an IRS audit or worse. On the other hand, filing inaccurate taxes can result in a similar outcome. Attorneys specializing in taxes and other financial matters are a crucial asset for any business, just in case there is an incident that invites the suspicion of fraud or tax evasion. By the same token, no business should be without a professional accountant in order to reduce the odds of such mistakes immensely to prevent the need for legal aid to begin with.
There are no shortage of employment issues that can occur and result in potential legal trouble, so it stands to reason that lawyers specializing in this kind of case are a necessity when such problems inevitably arise. There are laws in place, primarily to protect workers, that deal with matters such as workplace conduct, harassment, and termination. For example, a common type of lawsuit aimed at businesses are those that deal with wrongful termination, an event in which the termination of an employee was unwarranted on the part of the company. Likewise, issues concerning workers compensation are murky waters you don’t want to find yourself in without the proper legal counsel, and they occur fairly frequently.