This is not only the best piece of advice routinely given to clients, it’s also the simplest: as soon as you think you might need a lawyer, make the call.
For instance, recently a landlord client called with a potential tenant problem. Two tenants, paramours sharing an apartment, broke up and one moved out. The remaining tenant could not afford the property on his own for long and called the landlord us to work out a solution before he was in trouble. In turn, the Landlord called us for assistance. Reasonably working out a negotiated lease termination allowed the tenants to end their lease without an eviction and credit impairment, while allowing the landlord to get new tenants in the property. The key is everyone did exactly what they should have, and the outcome benefited all. The tenant talked to his landlord before the rent was late or missing and the landlord called his lawyer for advice, rather than making a similar call a few weeks later when an eviction was necessary.
This principle applies to business disputes as well. Unfortunately, most of the business breakups we see are long, dramatic, and expensive. But every now and then a business comes to us early, recognizing things are not working. It’s much easier to dissolve the business and wind things up before there is financial hardship and hurt feelings. Early intervention saves everyone time, money and lowers the stress in what can be a very stressful event.
If you have a real estate or business issue, not yet a problem – just a concern, give us a call and we can talk it through with you.
September 13, 2017
Starting a business can be an exciting and overwhelming endeavor and Google seems reasonably equipped to answer all your questions – right? Maybe, but as you embark on your new venture, Google may not adequately solve your concerns in a way that protects you. Consider the following reasons to work with a knowledgeable business lawyer, rather than your favorite search engine:
- First things first – the right structure is key. One of the most basic tasks in forming a new business is to choose an entity structure. This decision is critical as different entities expose you to much different levels of liability. Choosing the wrong entity could leave your business (and you individually) exposed to intolerable levels of liability against lawsuits. Conversely you may inadvertently overly complicate your structure when you are in an industry with very little need to worry about liability.
- Business attorneys should work hand in hand with your accountant. Structure and other set up decisions are best made both between your attorney and your accountant. Do not be surprised with an improper structure for both you or your industry once tax season arrives. Set it up correctly from the start.
- Protect your ideas and property. Protect your product ideas, production secrets, customer information, potential competition from your employees and anything else unique to your business. Doing so allows you to maintain a competitive advantage and shield yourself from others both externally and internally who could use your unique information for their own profit.
- Employment lawsuits can stop a business in its tracks. Starting a business means you must comply with all federal and state employment laws, including legal procedures regarding employee pay, hours, overtime, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Failing to consult with a business attorney exposes your business to a variety of employment lawsuits and even one lawsuit can be the death of a small business. Do not take simple tasks like drafting job descriptions or interviewing procedures for granted. Consult with a business attorney and do it right.
- Running a Business Can be a full-time job. Creating a new business involves a lot of paperwork and legal formalities confusing to even the savviest entrepreneurs. Drafting bylaws or operating agreements, complying with tax requirements and licensing concerns are most effectively handled with the assistance of a business lawyer.
Handing off the set up and operational structure issues to the right business lawyer allows you to get back into the business of running your business. Bergmann Law can walk you through the process of starting a business and set you on a path ensuring smooth operations and dispute avoidance. With years of dedicated legal experience, your business will be in excellent hands. Call our office and schedule an initial consultation.
Not sure if a business lawyer is the right move? Running a business is hard enough. Don’t make things even more difficult. Here are 5 reasons why hiring a business lawyer could pay off.
1) Not having a lawyer might cost you. You are a young business, cutting costs and pinching pennies to make things work. Your business is running smoothly until you get a notice from the state ordering you to comply with a regulation you’ve did not know existed. Now you have a problem that could get expensive quickly. Hiring a business lawyer BEFORE that notice arrives could prevent that notice from ever appearing in your mailbox. This leads to the second reason…
2) Avoiding problems is far less expensive than fixing them. A good business lawyer can spot potential pitfalls for a business before that problem even arises. The cost to avoid a problem is minimal compared to the alternative.
3) The law is complicated. What is a pleading? Why am I being sued? Why are there so many rules and regulations? The law can be very complicated – and time consuming. Having a business lawyer on your “team” and familiar with both you, your tolerance for risk and your industry can keep your business out of litigation in the first place. In the unfortunate instance a lawsuit does arrive, having a business lawyer on your “team” may allow you to quickly right the ship rather than be shopping for a lawyer, with a lawsuit in hand. You are good at running your business, let your business lawyer handle your legal issues.
4) Chances are, your competition has a business lawyer. Business lawyers don’t just cost you money – a good business lawyer will give you an edge in running your business as efficiently as possible. If your competition has a business lawyer, it is likely they are many steps ahead of you.
5) What Will a Consultation Cost Me? Good business lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation. After all, it should be a relationship you are developing. You would not work with service providers you do not like or respect. Your business lawyer is no different than the others. An initial consultation allows you both to meet each other and explore the possibility of a long-term relationship. Find someone willing to sit down and discuss you, your business and your goals and you may just learn that your business cannot afford to be without a business lawyer.