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Legal challenges? Maybe a business lawyer can help

February 22, 2011 - Tags: Employers, Intellectual property, Managing, Regulations, Startup

Istock 000002608363xsmallProtecting your business against legal challenges can be crucial for your continued success. Business law can be taxing to navigate, as the law touches your business in many ways. Therefore, you might want to consider having a qualified lawyer at your disposal.

First and foremost, a good business lawyer should be someone that you feel comfortable dealing with. It is also equally important for your business lawyer to possess the experience and expertise to help you make informed business decisions.

Throughout the life of your business, you will likely encounter a number of legal issues that a lawyer can help you resolve. For effectiveness, you may want to enlist the services of a lawyer from the start of your business as a good business lawyer will help you understand how to avoid legal trouble before it arises.

Some of the legal issues that a business lawyer can help you resolve include:

  • Setting up your business structure: determine the organizational structure that is best for you
  • Preparation of contracts: understand the legal ramifications of signing on the dotted line
  • Registration, licensing and taxation issues: fulfill government requirements of your business
  • Intellectual property: protect the products and services that you create
  • Real estate: avoid signing a lease agreement that benefits only the property owner and not you
  • Buying a business: recognize your obligations and the terms of your agreement
  • Employee conflict: ensure your decisions regarding human resources are fair and legal

To better inform your search for a business lawyer, meet with several before deciding who will best suit your needs. Speak with experienced business owners and ask for their advice and recommendations. Consider your prospective lawyer's area(s) of expertise. Different lawyers specialize in different branches of law; therefore, a tax lawyer may not be the best choice to prepare your business contracts. Some larger law firms may offer “one-stop-shop” legal services, in which they employ a number of lawyers with differing specialties.

In choosing the right candidate, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this person possess expertise that is well-aligned with my business needs?
  • If/when necessary, will they provide me with a referral to a more specialized lawyer?
  • Is this someone I feel comfortable dealing with and can I trust their perspective to help me make business decisions?

If you are able to answer all of these questions positively, maybe you've found someone with the right fit to help your business.

Consult our  Legal issues for small business page for more information. To learn more about protecting your interests, check out our Management and Operations section.

Comments

Have a product that needs patent protection. It is a retail to public and to business product. Employees and private people will be working with it so will need legal plan for dealing with all issuses that may arise. Info recommendations insight would all be appreciated.

By Rich on February 24, 2011

Hi Rich,

Visit our section on patents to learn more about protecting the rights to your invention. You may also want to visit our copyright and intellectual property page to learn about other ways to protect your legal rights.

Best of luck with your endeavour!

By Canada Business on March 1, 2011

Starting a Construction/Renovation company where I will seek out the projects and sub-contract them. Need client contracts, employment & sub-contractor agreements. Does this have to be done by a lawyer? Also, do I pay a lawyer throughout the year for legal advise & services; or is it normally a pay per use type of deal?

By Tamara on March 5, 2011

A lawyer’s input is optional when drawing up a contract, though it can be highly recomended. Lawyers are trained to interpret the law and they understand how wording and punctuation changes the meaning of a stipulation. It is generally less expensive to retain a lawyer up front than trying to hire one later to fix a problem.

Regarding payment methods, the manner which you pay for services would depend on your needs and those of the professional. For information on hiring a lawyer, see our section Legal issues for small business.

By Canada Business on March 7, 2011

If you have the time, doing your own incorporation (provincially/federally) is easy and far less expensive than using a lawyer (for us it would have been less than a 1/10th the cost). The law firm we used steered us in the wrong direction and we’ve been battling with them ever since and had a lot of very negative fallout. Just because a law firm is supposed to be one of the biggest and best doesn’t make them the best; they can still mess up and its really important to keep very close tabs on them and make sure you thoroughly understand what it is they’re doing and why they’re doing it because they’re in the business to make money - not to be your buddy. We now have a legal battle with our lawyer and I’ll be having them investigated so business owners must do their due dilengence and NOT leave certain things up to a lawyer to do unsupervised.

By Kathleen on March 29, 2011

THX that’s a great answer!

By Ruvell on June 9, 2011

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