If you’re an entrepreneur, then chances are you spend most of your time focusing on day-to-day tasks like HR management, customer assistance, and marketing of your business. It is easy for legal issues to be in the background in this situation, but in reality, it can be dangerous. If you don’t take the proper steps to legally protect your business, then everything you worked so hard for could be at risk. When does a start up business need a lawyer and when can a do-it-yourself approach be used? Here is a guide to the topic.
When does a startup need a lawyer?
There are many legal resources on the internet for legal advice and self-help that can help you set up a corporation, partnership, or run a company yourself. Overall, most startups can handle building their businesses with online legal resources. But if your business is complex enough, for example, you have dozens of investors (and not only from Australia) and two or three owners, each of whom contributes his share of the intellectual property, using the advice of a lawyer or attorney as well as an accountant is a smart move. These experts can help you learn all the pros and cons of various forms of business and assist you with all the legal paperwork.
Patents and Trademarks:
You must always use your trademark and logo and other identifying trademarks. There are many self-help tips on the website of the Patent and Trademark Office, and in most cases, registering a trademark is fairly easy. However, the patent process is more complicated and even the smallest error can cost you a lot. It is advisable to consult a lawyer who specialises in patent law, who will guide you through this maze.
Creation of contracts.
In any business relationship, you must have a contract or agreement to protect yourself and your business. The contract or agreement must be clearly written with the scope of work, terms of payment (how and when you will be paid), and what happens if something goes wrong. You can find standard contract templates online and use them to create contracts for basic business situations such as hiring employees or providing services. But you do need a lawyer to review the contracts you have drawn up to make sure they are correct and that the lawyer reviews to all contracts that clients want you to sign with them.
When does an existing business need a lawyer?
Debt collection. Unfortunately, at one point or another, every small business owner has a situation where there is a client who doesn’t pay their bill. Debt collection may not work, so if you need to bring a client to court, you can ask a lawyer or attorney for advice or to represent you in court (if this is a larger requirement).
The moment you hire employees, your business is facing dozens of government and tax laws. Therefore, hiring an employee is an important tool for defining your policy and complying with the laws. You can use legal self-help resources to write your own questionnaire and employee card. However, a lawyer should review and correct it to ensure that the employee accounting policy is in line with applicable regulations.
Need to fire an employee? Please consult a lawyer first. About 30% of small businesses worry that they will be sued by a fired employee, and this is a real risk. A lawyer can make sure that you have followed all the proper steps before firing that person. And in the end, everything was formalised correctly, in accordance with legal requirements and norms.
Even small businesses can be sued, and if you sue, you need a lawyer to represent and defend you in court. Finding a lawyer when you’re in a rush and panic doesn’t always give the best results. Find a good solicitor in Sydney and start a relationship with him now, before you need him, and you can be sure that you have a professional in case of an emergency.
To avoid legal problems, think ahead at every stage of your business. Entrepreneurship has many potential legal pitfalls that can hurt you if you don’t have the information, from choosing your company name to negotiating a lease with a landlord and hiring your first team member. Knowing your legal rights and understanding your responsibilities at every stage of business development will help protect you and your business.