Do I need a business lawyer?

On behalf of Brewer, Pritchard & Buckley, P.C. posted in business formations on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Do you have a business? Are you thinking of starting one? The simple answer to the question posed in the title of this blog, then, is yes. You need an attorney.

It is admittedly common to view engaging a lawyer with apprehension. There is a cost involved and you want to avoid incurring costs unless they are necessary. However, you wouldn’t drive a car without insurance. And the same argument applies when it comes to operating or expanding a business. From inspiration to fruition, every step of the process has legal implications, and one legal misstep can bring things to screeching halt.

Anticipation and prevention

As an entrepreneur in Texas or anywhere in the U.S., one of the first questions you will need to answer is what structure your business should take. Will it be a sole proprietorship, or a partnership? If you decide to incorporate, there are myriad matters of legal compliance to deal with. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Corporate governance: Not only do you have to file the necessary state and federal paperwork to create the business, maintaining your status requires follow-up action. State laws may also dictate types, frequency and recording of minutes regarding shareholder, director or partner meetings.
  • Intellectual property: Your business does not operate in a vacuum. Your name, your logo and any unique good or service you offer needs protection from infringement. And once in place, trademarks, copyrights, or patents need legal maintenance and defense.
  • Employment agreements: The talent you find and tap represents an asset as does the information you share with your employees. Failure to maintain control of the flow of your proprietary information through non-compete and non-disclosure agreements is crucial. But there are legal limits to what you can demand.
  • Exit strategies: Maybe your business will become the oldest business in Texas, but it won’t achieve that status with the founders at the helm. If you, a partner or a major shareholder leaves or dies, you’ll want to control the buying and selling of business shares to assure continued smooth operations.

Some people know a lot about few things. Some know a little about a lot of things. Where the viability of your business is concerned, you don’t want to find yourself caught short due to ignorance of the law.