5 Times Legal Advice is Indispensable
Lawyers who specialize in business law can provide invaluable expertise to you and your company. Business owners often shy away from the costs associated with legal counsel, but it is less expensive to retain a lawyer up front and have your legal work done properly than to hire a lawyer to fix problems later on. Below are a number of reasons to consider hiring a lawyer.
Choosing a business structure
One of the first decisions you need to make is what your business structure will be, which includes sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited or incorporated companies and co-operatives. A lawyer can help you choose the correct form of business structure based on the number of people involved, the type of business, any tax issues or liability concerns and financial requirements. Your lawyer can also help you draw up the necessary legal documents that set out the terms of any partnership or other shared ownership. These documents help ensure that all parties will be treated fairly, and that there is a mechanism for handling any disputes or disagreements.
Buying an existing business
If you wish to buy an existing business, you may have to decide whether to buy only the assets of the business or, in the case of an incorporated company, the shares of that company. You should have a buy-and- sell agreement with any business purchase—signed by both parties—that spells out the demands and obligations of each, as well as the terms of the agreement.
Leasing commercial space
Leases can be one of your largest business expenses. Make sure that your lease will be suitable to your business needs, in case you wish to break your lease or expand your business later on. A lawyer can advise you of any pitfalls or costs that may be incurred, before you sign on the dotted line.
Drawing up contracts and agreements
You may want to obtain legal advice when you are drawing up legal contracts and agreements in areas such as:
- Partnership, incorporation or shareholders
- Purchasing or obtaining a mortgage
Seeking equity financing
It is important to contact a lawyer when seeking equity financing for your business. A lawyer will help you draw up the terms of the shareholder agreement, or review the legal documents provided by a potential investor. Your lawyer can also help you assess the impact of any new shareholder agreement on other obligations and existing contracts with employees, suppliers or financial institutions.
Legal aid when you need it
It is important to note that this is not a comprehensive list. At a minimum, it is advisable to contact a lawyer before you sign any contract. If at any point you are unsure about the legality of something, or if the legality of your business practices is questioned, you should get the advice of a lawyer.
Looking for sound legal advice for your organization, business or corporation? Contact KGPC LLP today.