04 Nov How a Lawyer Can Help Your Business Grow
Whether you’re just starting out or have been doing it for years, running a small business isn’t easy. Beyond the basics of business governance, the rights and duties of ownership, and any employer liabilities, there are a lot of nitty-gritty details that can open you up to loss, damage, and disputes down the line.
That’s where a lawyer comes in. A lawyer can not only help you create a solid legal foundation, but also act as a valuable resource, identifying opportunities and pointing out potential problems to help eliminate risk down the line.
Let’s review how a lawyer can help your business as it grows.
Building a solid foundation
It’s easy to wait until the last minute to call in a lawyer (as in, when you’re being served with a lawsuit). However, this will cost you more time, money, and stress in the long run. Instead, make a business lawyer one of your first calls when starting your business.
They’ll help you lay a strong legal foundation that can prevent disputes before they start, protecting you and your growing business for years to come.
Here are a few ways a lawyer can help your business lay a solid foundation.
Business formation is one of the earliest steps of starting a business, and a very important one. The way you choose to form your business will directly impact your day-to-day operations, how taxes are paid, the personal liability to the founders, and more.
Whether you’re planning to be a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a corporation, or something else, a lawyer will help you carefully consider your options and set up the one that makes the most sense for you and your goals.
Chances are you can’t run a growing business all on your own — you’ll need more people to help you as you grow. But employment and labor laws are changing rapidly all the time, and staying compliant can be a challenge.
A lawyer keeps up with these changes, and will help you draft important employment documents, such as:
- Your company’s employee handbook and policies
- Employment agreements
- Non-compete, non-solicit, and non-disclosure agreements
It’s a good idea to have a lawyer write or review these documents to avoid disputes down the road. Not only do these documents protect your business trade secrets and caution against liability, but the agreements themselves require very specific details to be considered enforceable.
At JJH Law, we’ve been advising Portland-area businesses about employment law for nearly 20 years and can help. Contact us today to learn more!
As your business grows and takes on more clients, it’s important to have a clear and detailed agreement listing the written terms between your business and your client. Having these terms delivered upfront will help avoid disagreements or disputes. A lawyer can help you write your client agreement, or navigate any misunderstandings that might arise from it.
A resource for business owners
Because conversations with your lawyer are confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege, they are a great place to brainstorm any ideas you might have to grow your business.
Lawyers are also a great resource when it comes to human resources questions and consulting. They can help you stay on top of the ever-changing requirements and responsibilities you face as a business owner.
Identifying growth opportunities
Perhaps your business is already growing, or you’re looking for ways to boost its growth. A good small business lawyer has worked with many different businesses and can use this experience to advise you on what works and what doesn’t.
They’ll also recognize and suggest ways you might be able to expand your business, whether it’s to:
- Correctly form your business
- Acquire another business
- Merge with another business
- Find business financing
- Sell your business
From an employee side, they can also help you grow your benefit programs to attract more employees to work for your business.
Manages disputes and litigation
No matter how solid of a foundation you have and how well you run your business, disputes can still arise.
A few common disputes for small businesses include:
- Breach of contract
- Wage/hour complaints
- Property disputes
- Employment disputes (terminations and layoffs, discrimintion complaints, and violations of company policy)
- Violation of non-compete agreements
Sometimes these issues can be resolved without going to court or mediation. But sometimes they can’t and require a trial to reach a resolution. That’s why it’s important to find a skilled lawyer who will tailor a dispute solution to meet your needs.
At JJH Law, our team of business litigation lawyers will use their years of experience and creative approach to deliver a strategic solution for protecting your business and long-term goals.
The attorneys at JJH Law are here to help
No matter what stage you’re at in growing your small business, our skilled and innovative attorneys here at JJH Law can help. Our team has years of experience helping Oregon and Washington small businesses navigate employment law, business formation, real estate law, legal disputes, and more.
Contact us today with any questions or to learn more about how we can help.