It is always exciting starting a business, and during that process it may not seem like an attorney would be important other than to perhaps help get a company registered and to ensure that all documents are filed with the appropriate authorities. While that is true, there are numerous other reasons in which a company may need the advice and representation of business law attorneys. So, before finding yourself or your company in serious legal trouble, make sure to have an attorney on retainer at all times. Here are some reasons why.
People Love to Sue!
Have you ever wondered just why the world seems to have gone ‘sue crazy’? It doesn’t take much to begin a legal battle with charges against companies flying in all directions, from allegations of sexual misconduct to claims that faulty equipment or some lack on the part of a company or their employees caused harm to a client or the public in general.
Some analysts believe that the multi-million dollar McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit gave ambulance chasers the fodder needed to bilk the system going forward, but the fact is, people often look for a get-rich-quick scheme at every opportunity. Having a company attorney on retainer might be your best defense because they can both advise you on ways to avoid major lawsuits while also representing you should you have a claim filed against you.
Beware the IRS
Most businesses keep accountants either on staff or contracted because of the complexity of business tax laws. While accountants are well-versed in tax law as part of the scope of what they do, they cannot represent you if the IRS should feel you’ve violated any of their corporate tax laws. Some companies fear suits being filed against the corporation stemming from the private sector, but others realize that the IRS really does hold all the cards.
One misstep could not only shut down a company, but it can also filter into the personal finances of any owners, directors and or shareholders. Accountants can help keep the books but they cannot represent you in a court of law!
Ongoing Legal Advice During Expansion
There are times when a company grows beyond its current ability to handle clients/customers, and expansion becomes vital to survival. Whether reaching out into new markets or seeking local real estate to expand operations, an attorney can help to offer legal counsel while protecting your interests as a business.
There are several states, as a matter of fact, where attorneys need to be physically present during the closing of a real estate transaction. Why would you not want your company’s attorney to be present at that time to ensure that the title and deeds are transferred legally and that all taxes and documents are in order?
Literally from the Ground Up
Although you may feel that your little startup doesn’t need legal representation, you would be surprised how just one small ‘mistake’ can bring everything you’ve worked to build tumbling down. From the moment you file your Articles of Incorporation to the moment you liquidate your assets upon retiring, an attorney is necessary to protect your interests.