A growing area of legal practice, business law deals with the creation of new companies and the legal issues that inevitably arise as they interact with people, other businesses, and the government. Although many of these issues can be handled independently, there are certain scenarios where it may be necessary to retain a lawyer. Here are five of them.
Forming a Corporation
While it’s certainly possible to form a legal business entity such as an LLC without an attorney, establishing a corporation with a board and shareholders is an incredibly complicated process. Of particular concern is the administrative side of the equation, which typically includes complex tax and legal requirements that simply cannot be handled by the layman. It is no wonder that many corporations have a lawyer, or a team of lawyers, on retainer. New owners can save some money by filing the articles of incorporation on their own. The simple process does not require a legal degree.
From the town barbershop to a multi-national corporation, all companies can be sued for a variety of reasons. Common lawsuit categories include discrimination or harassment, copyright infringement, environmental, and government lawsuits. Whether the goal is to settle cases in order to avoid bad press or to fight the dispute in court, corporate lawyers can lend a hand. In addition to representing the business as a whole, attorneys can also represent company employees.
Filing a Patent
Have you ever wondered why the words “patent pending” are so common in the marketplace? Hundreds of thousands of applications are received each year, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cannot approve them immediately. At the last count, it took about three years for the average applicant to receive a patent on a product or invention. In addition to helping you file the paperwork, a patent attorney who works for a business law firm can help you understand the rights you will achieve if and when you are granted a patent.
Buying or Selling a Company
When a deal involves several zeroes, corporate lawyers are almost always involved. Whether they represent the buyer or the seller, attorneys who work for business law firms can help negotiate a sales agreement that makes both sides happy. They can also arrange lease agreements and other deals. For larger clients, a team of legal professionals may be employed to acquire another firm through a hostile takeover or an asset purchase plan. As you might imagine, these complicated deals require legal guidance to ensure that everything adheres to the letter of the law.
Hiring Certain Employees
In today’s corporate world, there are many situations where an employee might be given access to company secrets. If this sensitive information were to get out, it could hurt the company, perhaps irreparably. As such, many firms have employees sign confidentially agreements. A seasoned attorney can help ensure that these agreements are legally enforceable.
All of the aforementioned business matters can be handled by a corporate attorney.