Creating or running a startup is no easy task. Estimates suggest that 20% of all new businesses in the US fail before they finish their first year.
The reasons for this vary, from ineffective profit models to tumultuous inner politics. In many cases, the ship never goes down easily. Legal issues abound, and at some point, there will be a business lawyer on the payroll.
But if things are going swimmingly, when do you need to hire a lawyer? Even successful startups that are paying back their investors will need a corporate lawyer at some point.
Keep reading for a brief guide on situations when you might need a business attorney.
Hire a Lawyer if You Plan on Changing Leadership
In the beginning, it’s often you, as the CEO, along with your cofounders. But as time goes on, cofounders may leave, and new partners or investors may come on board. This shift in topside leadership is one that requires legal counsel.
Even if you’re just looking for part time lawyer jobs, you’ll be glad that you had legal counsel at your elbow. A skilled attorney can advise you on how to proceed and how to structure the new chain of command.
This will be vital for deciding things like incentives and stock options. The last thing you want to do is burn your business associates with a misinformed decision.
If You Need to Create Contracts or Business Agreements
Contracts are notoriously difficult to create, and for a good reason. If lawyers can change the interpretation of a single phrase, they can do incredible damage to your company. You should not, for any reason, attempt to navigate this legalese on your own.
Have a business lawyer at the ready when creating, interpreting, and enforcing contracts. It’s a small cost in the long run compared to the legal troubles it might cause.
If You Have Employment Issues
Employment law in the US does have some teeth, believe it or not. Just ask Elon Musk, who paid dearly for a recent gaffe of his. This multi-billionaire mocked a valuable employee on Twitter, a public forum, without any legal advice.
The end result will likely be a massive lawsuit due to Mr. Musk’s comments. If what you say can get you in hot water, imagine firing someone without knowing the consequences. Using good judgment or a gut feeling is just not enough in these situations.
It goes without saying that you should have a company lawyer to handle any employment issues like these. Harassment, discrimination, and unemployment are just a few of the situations where legal counsel is essential.
Hire a Startup Lawyer Today
Hiring a lawyer can be expensive and is something startup companies never want to have to do. But there will be times, even when things are going well, that you need to hire a lawyer. The above are just a few of the situations where you need a legal professional to advise you.
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