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What is Business Law

Business law is a set of laws pertaining to a very broad array of legal issues. It includes the law governing contracts, sales, commercial paper, employment law, business organizations, property, and bailments. Business law also encompasses issues such as starting, selling, buying, or closing a business, managing a business, employing workers, or creating and complying with contracts, and more.

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Do I need a Business Law Attorney

Entrepreneurs involved with starting or already running a small business regularly ask themselves whether they need a business lawyer.

Some attorneys charge prohibitively high rates. Small businesses generally don’t have substantial extra cash flow or capital with which to pay a lawyer. So, very often small businesses wait to hire an experienced business law attorney until they have a serious legal problem. It is extremely helpful for business owners to think of the cost-benefit to hiring a lawyer early on. Legal help is a standard cost of doing business, and it saves you money and helps your business in the long run. Not every element of running your business calls for an attorney. As they say, though, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.

Business Law Issues Suitable for DIY

There are certain matters that are sufficiently simple and straight forward and that do not require the assistance of counsel. You can probably get by taking care of the following on your own:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Choosing a business name
  • Reserving a domain name for your website
  • Applying for a tax identification or employer id number (EIN)
  • Applying for licenses and permits
  • Interviewing and hiring employees
  • Submitting IRS and state tax forms
  • Documenting LLC meetings
  • Creating simple contracts for use with customers or clients
Business Law Issues that Require a Business Lawyer

When a business must tackle a legal issue that is too complex, too time consuming, or exposes the business to too much liability, it is wise to work with a business attorney. Examples include:

  • Defending lawsuits brought by former, current, or prospective employees for alleged improper hiring, firing, or hostile work environment
  • Defending against government complaints or investigations of your business
  • Making extraordinary allocations and distributions of business property
  • Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets
An Ounce of Prevention

As important as retaining an attorney when your business finds itself in a legal pickle, you should emphasize preventing such events in the first place. Often this does require consulting or hiring qualified counsel. It is important for any business owner to have relationships with as many attorneys as needed to help prevent problems and as many lawyers as needed to resolve problems when they do arise. Every business person should get and stay ahead of the curve by finding and working with an experienced business attorney.

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