Legal Guide

Find Out Why A Lawyer Is A Business Owner's Best Weapon

Everyone loves to make fun of lawyers don’t they? Is it out of jealousy or because they are an easy target? After all if you have a law degree, there is every chance that you could be rich and successful after just a few years of hard work. But, it’s easy to say that lawyers have no souls, profiting off misery and suffering. In fact, most lawyers do a lot of good in the world today. They keep things just and make sure that everyone has fair representation, at least theoretically. In our personal lives, we probably won’t need a lawyer unless there has been an emergency. For instance, someone might have crashed into your car. Then you might need an AI lawyer to sue them for damages. Or, you might have been wrongly arrested and if that’s the case you’re going to need a criminal lawyer. Then there are times in life when we need legal representation without any wrong doing on our part or anyone else's. For instance, if you’re buying or selling a home you’ll need a solicitor. But largely, lawyers won’t be a big part of our life even if we have one on speed dial.

However, in the business world the situation is a little different. It’s a good idea always to have the number of your lawyer or a legal firm handy, particularly if you are the owner of a business. They might prove to be your most effective weapon against some of the problems you could face running your company.

You might be wondering when you should hire a lawyer for your business. We suggest you hire one and get one on your team as soon as you set up shop. That way, you will be covered from the very beginning. A lawyer will always fight for your legal rights in the business world and keep you protected. Here are just some of the ways that they can do this.

Contractual Agreements

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The daily life of a business owner is packed full of contractual agreements. You might be surprised to learn that most of these won’t be monitored by a legal team. Most business owners save on costs and instead trust those who they are forming agreements with to uphold their end. That said, there are times when you certainly will need a legal team’s aid and assistance.

You might, for instance, need to use a vessel to charter goods internationally across the seas. Most business owners don’t own the vessels. Instead, they form contractual agreements with the vessel owner. However, there are different types, and both parties want certain guarantees. For instance, you need to make sure that you are getting the full scope of services that you need. That’s where a lawyer will come in. You will need an experienced maritime lawyer to draft and/or review your master time charter contracts.

Or, you could be forming a contractual agreement with a supplier for your business. For instance, you might own a manufacturing company. If that’s the case, you might need a supplier of sheet metal. You’ll need to make sure that you have a reputable dealer who agrees to always provide what you need as long as you continue to buy. If the supply stops, it could halt your business transactions.

Contractual Issues

The other side of having a lawyer to form contracts is to make sure you are covered if something goes wrong. Obviously, you would hope that other business owners are honest. But, this is not always the case, and deals have been known to fall through. This can leave a business owner in a difficult situation that they can not get out of. When that happens, it is beneficial to know you have a lawyer who can help you through the process. They will either make sure the contract is upheld, or get you the legal damages that you deserve for a broken agreement. That said, if you have a lawyer present in the first place, it’s unlikely a business owner will risk breaking a contract.

If is necessary to have this kind of legal protection. Again, think about the manufacturer. Manufacturers are often lucky to break even some years. The problem is that suppliers buy their product and don’t pay until they have shifted it. Invoices are left unpaid, but the right legal team can prevent this problem.

Patenting And Trademarks

When you start a business, you will create a logo or image for your company. You will have this designed by a professional, and it will make your business look like an established success. That’s great, but you have to be careful with this trademarking. It only takes one established company to claim the image is too similar to their logo, and you’ve got a problem. The same can be true for your company name. You must get it properly protected.

Patent protection works in roughly the same way. If you come up with a design for an idea, you must get it patented. That means legally you own that design and how to create it. You’ll often see this pop up on news sites. On occasion, a company will patent a design idea giving the public knowledge of what they could soon release. For instance, people were aware of the possibility of the Nintendo 3D3 three years before it was released. But it was necessary to do this otherwise someone else could have brought the 3D design out before Nintendo. Imagine, if Apple didn’t have patent protection. There would be countless copies of the iPhone. Although, one could argue that the current phone market wouldn’t look all that different.

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Being Sued

Could you be sued as the owner of your company? You could, and it’s all to do with premises liability. If you don’t know, you certainly should. Premises liability is a legal clause that holds the owner of a property legally accountable. That means if anyone is injured on your business property you will be found responsible. Unless, you can prove that there was no way you could have prevented the accident, and this is very tricky to do. You will need a top lawyer to avoid having to pay out hundreds of thousands in damages. You might think that if you are simply renting a business property you can squeeze through a loophole but think again. If you are renting for business, chances are the landlord has written liability into the contract. You will still be found responsible.

The best way to deal with this issue is to set up legal protection so that you never end up in court. By contacting an employment lawyer, you can make sure you have general liability insurance. Essentially, what this means is that if there is a problem on your premises you won’t have to pay up. The problem will be dealt with by whichever business is covering you. Also, if you have workers compensation, an employee will not be able to take you to court.

There are two other points to take into account here, though. Firstly, you might find that you are not covered for particular instances. For example, if an attorney can show you have been running a company neglectfully you won’t be covered. You will also not be covered if the lawsuit is not directed at your business but you personally. This can happen if an employee sues you for something like a hostile work environment or harassment. Then you will need legal counsel to represent you. But, there is another reason we suggest you have a lawyer on your team, related to employee issues.

Changes In The Law

The law is constantly in flux, and that includes employment law. New bills are made law and brought into action every year. As a business owner, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to keep track, even if they do involve your company. That’s why you should speak to lawyer regularly and consult about changes. They will offer you advice on how best to protect yourself and your company in light of these changes. This might be changes in employment law or contractual agreements. But either way, you must make sure you are properly protected.

If you don’t have a lawyer on your team, we certainly suggest that you outsource the problem. Having a legal firm that you can use at any time is cheaper than paying for a full-time lawyer, and you will get the same coverage. It’s perhaps the best option for a smaller business that wants full legal protection.

Damage To Your Reputation

Finally, there may be a time when you believe that your business has been falsely represented. This could be during a negative SEO campaign, or it might be a news story about your business. If you think that they have got the facts wrong, you have every right to seek legal counsel to correct the situation. This is one of the times you might find yourself in the position to sue someone else rather than them suing you.

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