When you’re first starting a business, raising capital and making the funds last can be two of your most challenging tasks. It’s a constant balancing act determining whether something is really needed whether it can wait. In some situations, however, you may find that waiting puts you in a great deal more trouble than spending the extra money. One of these areas is legal services in the formation of your business.
Do You Need an Attorney?
While you can learn how to register a company online, anything more complicated than a basic C corporation or partnership will require the assistance of an attorney. The laws regarding S Corporation formation as well as limited liability partnerships and other business forms can be quite complex. For instance, in a limited liability partnership, particularly the professional kind, you will have to meet certain residency requirements as well as capital requirements. Failure to follow the proper procedures can result in fines and loss of the business status. In some cases this can result in legal action from your creditors will come to rely on good business’s form.
Other areas where you are likely to need an attorney is in drawing up noncompetition agreements as well as confidentiality agreements. These contracts must be narrowly tailored. If the court finds that yours is not, then the agreement will generally be stricken as void. This means that your secrets will not be kept secret, and your current employees will be free to compete with you in the same area. Though some courts will modify the agreement to make it more equitable for both, you should not rely on this. Having an attorney available to handle the other agreements and contracts you enter into such as leases and shipping arrangements can also help protect you from further liability on down the road.
When you’re just starting out, particularly if you have a building and employees, you may want an attorney to go through all of your policies in your handbook to ensure that you are not leaving yourself open to liability in some way. By meeting with an attorney, you can help make sure that your business is protected.
The Kind of Attorney You Need
Generally, you’ll want an attorney who specializes in business law and the particular area in which you need his help. This means that if you are hiring an attorney to help you with the formation of your corporation, you need someone with a corresponding specialization or focus. An attorney who has a background in business can be particularly helpful as he will have practical experience as well as legal knowledge about what should be done. You may find that you need multiple attorneys to assist with different procedures. For instance, if you have a corporation that is incorporated in the state of Delaware, your attorney may be located in Delaware to assist with all matters relating to the corporation itself. However, if you have an overseas contract develop, you may need to seek the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in international law and conflict law as well as contract law.