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What to Expect When Partnering with a Small Business Attorney

What to Expect When Partnering with a Small Business Attorney

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur wondering if you need a small business attorney? You’re not alone! We often hear from business owners and entrepreneurs who are unsure if they need a small business attorney or not.

In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at what our small business attorneys can do for your Oregon or Washington business. You may be surprised to hear how we can help!


We can help start your business

Starting a small business requires long-term vision. This begins with the formation of your business.

When you start your business, you need to:

  • Decide on a business structure (limited liability company (LLC), S or B corporation, or nonprofit)
  • Create formation and organizational documents such as articles or incorporation and corporate bylaws
  • Familiarize yourself with corporate formalities like meeting minutes, registered agents, and proper corporate oversight

When starting a new business for the first time (or the fifth), these issues can be complex. They’re decisions you and your business will live with for a very long time, so making the right decision is crucial.

When you work with a small business attorney, they can advise you on your decision to ensure it will be the most advantageous for your unique situation. When advising on business formations, small business attorneys will consider…

  • Tax implications
  • Legal consequences
  • Investment structure
  • Employment considerations
  • Industry and market
  • Company mission
  • Your long-term goals
  • Budgetary concerns


Represent your business in business disputes

When you own a business, disputes are inevitable. Solving them will be necessary for the long-term health of your business.

Business disputes may arise between your business and…

  • Suppliers and vendors
  • Business partners
  • Competitors
  • Investors
  • Contractors and employees
  • Customers

Small business attorneys represent your business when legal issues arise through the course of business. When you work with an attorney you trust, these issues will be handled by an attorney who knows you and your long-term goals.


Business litigation

Even the best-run business may be involved in litigation at some point. Disputes arise and not all can be solved through negotiation or compromise.

Some issues requiring business litigation may include:

  • Breach of contract, whether intentional or not
  • Business fraud
  • Insurance coverage disputes
  • Partnership, shareholder, & LLC member disputes
  • Property disputes
  • Issues with employees
  • Tort disputes

Some of these issues can be handled out of court through negotiations, but many must be brought to trial to defend your business’s interests.

It’s impossible to know which direction the litigation dispute will go until the situation unfolds. A good small business lawyer will always try to settle the dispute out of court while realizing trial should never truly be taken off the table.


We can help with growing your business

Growing your business can be a scary proposition. Building up assets, partnering with businesses, and knowing how to manage risk are complex actions.

Business transactions

No matter the transaction your business is making, an experienced transaction attorney can help. The two largest transactions attorneys can (and should) help with include:

  • Mergers and acquisitions: M&A is a complex area of law and finance requiring substantial amounts of due diligence, tax evaluation, and intellectual property analysis. A seasoned small business attorney can help with these tasks, as well as the negotiation with the partner.
  • Business financing: When growing your business, you’ll likely be looking for ways to finance it. An attorney can help you sell equity or acquire debt to grow your business on your own terms.

A good lawyer will look at a business transaction from all angles and take a tailored approach to transaction negotiation and advisement. Every situation and relationship is unique, and thus needs to be handled with care.


We can help you with employment and contractual issues

Maintaining a beneficial relationship with your employees, contractors, and vendors is important when running a business. They’re what keep the day-to-day of your business running smoothly. Unfortunately, circumstances can lead to suboptimal situations.

A good employment attorney will help you develop policies and draft contracts to put you in a good position from the start, and also help when relationships break down.

Labor and employment

With a labor and employment attorney, you’ll have access to help with…

  • Employee policy formation: When you set your employee policies to protect you and motivate your employees, your business will succeed. A good labor attorney can help draft and review company policy, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, and employment contracts.
  • Labor and employment compliance: Complying with employment laws is not only the right thing to do, it also protects your business from potential lawsuits. A small business attorney can help you stay compliant with city, state, and federal regulations.
  • Employment disputes and litigation: In the event of an employee dispute, you’ll need to tread carefully. A small business attorney can help navigate the waters of cases like employee discrimination, wrongful termination, and pay disputes.


Contract formation

Without the ability to draft a contract protecting your long-term interests, you could find yourself unknowingly agreeing to a contract you aren’t comfortable with.

Over the course of operation, you likely have or will have to draft documents such as:

  • Employment contracts
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Partnership agreements
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Rental or lease agreements
  • Vendor contracts

With a skilled negotiator and contact formation attorney, you ensure an extra layer of long-term protection with their legal knowhow and ability.


Ready to hire a small business attorney for your business?

JJH Law serves Oregon and Washington businesses to help them achieve their long-term goals. Our small business attorneys have years of experience working with businesses just like yours and are eager to help you reach your potential.

Whether you are just starting your businesses or you’ve been around for decades, we can help. Contact us to talk with a Portland businesses attorney today.

Joseph Haddad

Joseph is a business lawyer and founder of JJH Law. He focuses on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on employment-related matters on behalf of employers and employees. He's also an avid card player, and in 2006 was ranked #118 in the world by CardPlayer Magazine.

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