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When Do I Need a Business Attorney for My Small Business?

William B. Hanley, Attorney At Law April 18, 2023

Starting and operating a small business comes with many challenges. While most business owners handle the day-to-day operations themselves, there are times when they need professional help.  

A small business can encounter legal issues, and without proper guidance, it can be challenging to navigate the legal landscape. A competent attorney can provide invaluable guidance and legal support. 

William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law, is a business litigation attorney in Irvine, California, who represents small business owners in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County.  

When You Should Retain an Attorney for Your Small Business 

Let’s discuss the situations in which retaining an attorney for your small business could be beneficial:  

1. Forming the Business

The first and most crucial step in starting a business is forming it legally. This involves registering with the appropriate state and federal agencies, obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, and filing the required tax forms. According to the Internal Revenue Service, there are five main business structures to choose from: LLCs, sole proprietorships, S corporations, partnerships, and corporations. An attorney will help ensure that all the legal requirements are met and that the business structure is optimal for your needs. 

2. Licensing

Acquiring the proper licenses is vital for businesses to operate legally. However, the licensing process can be complicated and time-consuming, especially for a small business owner who is not familiar with the relevant laws and regulations. An attorney can help navigate the licensing process to ensure that your business is compliant with applicable regulations. 

3. Protecting Your Business’s Intellectual Property 

Whether it’s your logo, trademark, or trade secrets, it is vital to safeguard your intellectual property from infringement or theft. An attorney can help you register your intellectual property and defend it against infringement by competitors.  

4. Restructuring Your Business

Sometimes, businesses need to restructure to stay competitive or respond to shifting market conditions. An attorney can help you navigate the process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. 

5. Filing for Bankruptcy

When a small business is facing financial difficulties, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option. An attorney can help you determine which type of bankruptcy is best for your situation and guide you through the process to make sure your business’s interests are protected. 

6. Protecting Your Business Against Lawsuits

Lawsuits are a part of doing business, and any small business can face legal troubles regardless of how carefully they operate. An attorney can help you understand your legal exposure and minimize your risk of lawsuits by creating policies that prevent legal issues from arising in the first place.  

7. Facing Litigation or Contract Disputes

Even the smallest legal dispute can escalate quickly and cause significant damage to your small business. If you face a lawsuit, hiring a lawyer is a necessity. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and represent your business in court.   

8. Facing Legal Claims from Employees or Competitors 

When a lawsuit is filed by employees or competitors, it is essential to retain an attorney who specializes in employment or intellectual property law. An attorney can help your business defend against these types of claims and identify any potential legal risks. 

9. Facing Complaints or Investigations from Government Bodies

If your business faces a complaint or investigation from government agencies, it is best to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help your business respond to the investigation adequately and protect your business from any legal consequences.  

10. Mitigating Damages 

When faced with potential legal disputes, you need to understand how to mitigate any damages caused to your business. An attorney can assess the situation and develop an effective strategy to protect your business.  

11. Filing Taxes

Tax issues can be overwhelming for small business owners, and it is crucial to have an attorney’s assistance in such cases. An experienced attorney can help your business navigate complex tax laws and ensure that your business is compliant with all regulations. 

12. Selling the Business or Acquiring Another Business  

The buying and selling of small businesses can be complex and require careful planning. It is essential to have a lawyer who can help you through the process, draft legal documents, and ensure that the transaction is legal and beneficial to your business. 

Seek Trusted Legal Counsel for Your Business 

Legal assistance can prove beneficial and prevent costly mistakes or decisions that could endanger your business. That is why it is essential for small business owners to know when they should seek legal help from an attorney. Contact William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law, to seek trusted legal guidance for your business in Irvine, California, or surrounding areas. Contact attorney William B. Hanley to discuss your specific case.