Many established and brand new businesses only “resort” to seeing a lawyer when they absolutely have to. Maybe there is a lawsuit against your company? Perhaps you need to bring a lawsuit against another business or vendor? Maybe a vendor, contractor, or partner broke an agreement that was in writing?
Unfortunately, these events can happen to any business. Having a lawyer on your business team can mitigate the damage that these events cause, and sometimes, even prevent them!
Here are five reasons you should have a lawyer on your team:
When First Starting A Business
Those new to the business world might find getting your business started daunting. Even with your brand new membership with Black BRAND and tips from the SBA, having a lawyer on your team will make this process much more comfortable. Your lawyer can help you set up your LLC, get your Tax EIN (remember, there are specific tax laws that businesses have to follow!), and even file some of the paperwork on your behalf.
For some tips on getting started on your business, we created a brief guide for all the steps!
Creating and Filing Paperwork
Paperwork, whether completely digital or in actual paper form, is a fact of a business owner’s life. A lawyer can help you not only start your business, but for a veteran business, they can also help you with the necessary contracts, agreements, and any other form of paperwork you need.
Some considerations to work out with your lawyer could be:
- A vendor or service contract – Protects you when an agreement is violated or if there is a lawsuit.
- Creating your LLC or partnership agreement with multiple stakeholders or investors – Ensures that everyone’s money is protected and roles are clearly defined.
- Intellectual Property Rights – Does your business need to register?
- Patents – Is your business developing something brand new?
- Having a lawyer as a resource means that if you don’t know what paperwork you need, just ask!
When Getting Paid Is Impossible
One of the more challenging aspects of running as a black business owner is when customers, partners, associates, vendors, etc. will not pay for your delivered services or products. Many business owners who don’t have already employ a lawyer will often have to just right off the payment (which is writing off potential revenue!) or eventually go to court. Either option is too expensive for your business!
In this situation, ask your lawyer if they can send a letter on your behalf – this official document will be a warning that you expect to collect payment. By doing this, and through your lawyer, this allows you to keep focused on all aspects of your business instead of this one problem.
When Taxes Become A Problem
Although good practice means that your business already has a CPA on your team, your business will sometimes need help with Tax Law. For example, when the Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair in 2018 resulted in a drastic change in our state tax structure, many businesses and CPA’s are still trying to learn all of the new regulations. Although your Virginia CPA might be able to help you here in Hampton Roads, do you also ship products to Colorado or Arizona? Depending on the state tax threshold, you might be required to pay taxes in both those states, even if you hadn’t before 2018. This is where a seasoned lawyer can team up with your CPA to help you understand not only your rights but also what your business responsibilities are now.
Black BRAND is here to help businesses in the 757 succeed, especially during this difficult time. Send us a message on Facebook if we can answer any questions you might have!