There are many aspects to running a business. The ones that you hear about are marketing, production, and of course, finance.
One of the more underemphasized aspects of a business is the legal aspect. It’s a common misconception to think that a business only needs the aid of lawyers when they are in trouble with the law.
It’s a common misconception to think that a business only needs the aid of lawyers when they are in trouble with the law.
While it’s completely correct to perceive lawyers as problem solvers, the true value of their mastery of the law lies in their ability to use their knowledge to help businesses avoid any legal repercussions.
You can basically say that business law is a minefield that’s primed to punish a business that takes a wrong step, and the lawyers are minesweepers.
Lawyers are master strategists in the realm of business law and it would be wise to seek their counsel on business matters that may seem like muddled water to the layperson. But, despite this expertise, there’s also the other side of the argument, and that’s the fact that lawyers cost a lot of money to hire.
Naturally, any business owner in his right mind is going to want to ensure that a business lawyer’s expertise is going to be used only when it’s truly needed. This is so that a major advantage would not become a meaningless waste of money.
Efficiency is achieved by determining what are the business tasks that you can do yourself and what are the tasks that are best handled by a business lawyer.
A few examples of the tasks that are best handled by a business lawyer are as follows:
Securing Intellectual Property
When you’re able to create something, it’s best to secure it in such a way that you are the sole recognized creator (or author) of that idea or concept. Intellectual property is secured by legal tools such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
Each of these legal tools has a specific purpose that business lawyers know how to use to their maximum effect. Not only that, but lawyers also have mastery over the process of invoking these legal tools.
Business structuring refers to the business type the entity (your business) is going to be set up as. The business types are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.
Each of these business types has a set of traits that may or may not affect you in the future as a business owner.
A prime example can be on how a corporation is treated as its own legal person, separate from the shareholders and business owners.
Therefore, shareholders are not entitled to all of the profits of the corporation. Because the corporation is treated as a separate legal entity, its revenue is its own, and not that of the individuals that make up the corporation.
Apart from the foresight that business lawyers bring to the table, they are also well versed in the procedures of business structuring and can detect when there’s something that isn’t being done properly.
Remember that in any aspect of the law, it’s always best to go by the book, to follow standard procedure and to adhere to the rules.
Employment Contract Management
Going back to the analogy of how business law is a minefield that business owners need to navigate through, there are many aspects of an employment contract that may be difficult to understand.
This statement does not devalue the average person’s ability to understand these legal concepts, but rather, it tries to put an emphasis on the intricacies involved in a contract.
A contract is a binding agreement that can also be used as a basis for when obligations are not met.
These can be used in a way that can bring harm to your business if your employment contracts are not met, whether it’s in the way that you may not be able to meet (and sustain) the conditions you put forth in the contract or if it’s in how your contract might not effectively shield you from an employee acting in bad faith.
There are many reasons that an employee might think it right to sue their employer. Some employees may even go as far as to use personal injury lawsuits to their advantage.
And while expert injury lawyers like the ones at the Davis Law Group can aid you in your defense, preventive measures may also be taken with the right contract provisions.
Once again, it’s mostly about foresight and careful planning.
Peace of Mind
Lawyers may bring all kinds of expertise and inside knowledge to the table, but the most important point of hiring a lawyer, at least in my humble opinion, is that they grant the business owners a peace of mind that they are going to do things the right way.
Running through a minefield is not only an extremely stressful experience, it’s also dangerous. The primary source of both the stress and the danger is in the uncertainty of where your next step is going to land.
Now, imagine if you were to be led through all of that by someone who knows his way around. Suddenly, the task of walking through a minefield is reduced to just that, simply walking.
And this peace of mind that everything is going to be alright is what’s supremely important because it allows you to attend to the other aspects of running your business.
Instead of having to go through sleepless nights of worrying whether you’re registering your business correctly or if you’re using your legal tools properly, you could do the thing that truly defines what being a business owner is all about…
And it’s all about running your business, building customer relations, and marketing your products.
Yes, time. If you’re able to delegate these responsibilities to someone more qualified than you are, you’re going to free up a lot of time that you otherwise would not have because of your lack of mastery that an expert would not have.
Time is especially important because it goes beyond the realm of business ownership and into your personal life.
And while I am a staunch believer of compartmentalism, it cannot be denied that no matter what we do, the many areas of our lives will always overlap with each other. A bit of time is going to go a long way in helping you strike a balance between the different t aspects of your life.