Do You Need a Business Lawyer on Retainer?

Business Lawyer
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By Small Business Pulse

When starting a business, entrepreneurs are immediately faced with the decision of whether or not to hire an attorney on retainer to join their launch team. It is a conundrum that can sometimes be difficult to discern. For the most part, having a lawyer on retainer and at your disposal who understands the ins and outs of your enterprise is well worth the expense.

Complications
Starting and running a business legally and successfully can come with unexpected complications. As you wade through potential legal issues, having an attorney’s ear from the get-go can help you demystify the process. The first time you are likely to encounter the need for legal advice is when you initially set up your business.

At that crucial point, you will be required to decide whether or not you should incorporate as a limited liability corporation (LLC). Instead, you may want to present yourself as a C corporation, a plan wherein you are taxed separately from your ownership, or as an S corporation, in which you will generally not be taxed separately.

Beneficial structure
Each of the three corporation types have certain tax benefits that are dependent upon your unique circumstances. An attorney can help constructively determine which beneficial structure best fits your small business, as well as be up to snuff regarding everything you do. From having to make your first legal decision on the right corporate structure for your business, a lawyer immediately by your side can give you peace of mind as a business owner from the start.

Legal matters
If a legal matter suddenly arises, it is best your counsel is already familiar with the whys and wherefores of your business. Needing to hire a new lawyer at the last minute, without invaluable groundwork already in place, creates uncertainty and pressure.

When critical legal matters come up unexpectedly, such as copyright infringement or an employee rights issue, a retainer lawyer is an invaluable asset. Thankfully, this scenario can likely be anticipated due to the professional you already have set in place. Prevention alone is worth the added expense of putting an attorney on retainer.

Contracts
The structure of specific business contracts and the ability to maintain them is pertinent to successfully executing your business plan. Once in place, if a breach of contract does enter the picture, your attorney can step in and discuss the situation with the concerning party. This effort on the attorney’s part will be expected to be done in a gentle manner in an effort to settle the problem as soon as possible in the best possible way.

With the law seeming to constantly need attention, you could not ask for anything more than having the right attorney on retainer. That's a promise.