If you’re running a small business (or planning to) then having a good legal professional in your corner is pretty much essential. The legal aspects of running a business might seem painstaking but they are what keeps your business protected. Ultimately, a secure, stable business is going to perform better in the market than one that isn’t.
However, finding the right lawyer for your business isn’t always that simple. It can be difficult to sort through the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t worry though, we’ve made the effort to dissect a few important factors you need to be on the lookout for when finding the right lawyer for your small business. Keep reading to know more (or just give us a call right now).
Do I Need A Lawyer For My Small Business?
A question a lot of small businesses tend to ask at some point is, do I even need a lawyer anyways?
We get it, legal work is often the least exciting part of running a business. With all the information available online, including online templates, it’s pretty common to see small business owners opting to skip hiring legal services altogether and just doing things themselves.
Don’t make this mistake.
Properly taking care of your business’s legal needs is going to make the difference between your business sinking or swimming. Sure, putting a great product or service out there is important. Ensuring your marketing strategy is effective is also crucial. However, what’s keeping your business protected while you focus on all these other things?
Every business comes with its own set of risks. As a business owner, one of your highest priorities should be enlisting all the right legal instruments to manage these risks and safeguard your business.
What Does A Small Business Lawyer Do?
A small business lawyer handles all the legal aspects related to running a business. Their tasks can range from helping Register A Business Name, aiding with Capital Raising, Reviewing Contracts, Drafting Contracts, advising on Regulatory Compliance matters and overall, providing the best possible advice for small business owners.
Essentially, a small business lawyer is there to make sure your business is following the law, has everything it needs to be protected and has strong legal foundations.
How Much Does A Small Business Lawyer Cost?
Every lawyer’s cost will vary, depending on what you need from them. One of the most important things to look out for when choosing a lawyer is making sure there is transparency when it comes to fees.
Hidden fees are a pretty shady practice. A trustworthy lawyer should be able to tell you the cost of what you’re asking for upfront, that way you can financially plan for their services.
Some small business law firms might still stick to the ‘billable hours’ format, so be careful if you find yourself engaging with legal professionals that do this, as you don’t want to be taken advantage of. Your best bet is to find a legal practice that has fixed fee packages. That way, you know you’re being offered a fair price and you aren’t taken by surprise when you receive the bill.
At Sprintlaw, we offer fixed fee packages and no extra hidden costs- just in case you were wondering.
What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need For My Small Business?
So, you know you need a small business lawyer that doesn’t beat around the bush about costs. But, is there a particular type of lawyer you need? The answer is yes. Small business law is a rather broad area that has a number of specialisations.
If a lawyer claims to specialise on ‘all things related to small businesses’ then we’d be somewhat wary of them. Rather, you want someone who has a specific expertise in a particular area, as you’re going to want expert advice, not general advice. Truthfully, that is only something a legal professional that has taken the time to harness their skills in a niche area can provide.
This doesn’t mean you need to run around to multiple different law firms to see a range of different lawyers. In fact, law firms that cater to small businesses should have a number of specialist lawyers readily available to help. Just like here at Sprintlaw, from experts in Data and Privacy to lawyers that specialise in Business Sales, we’ve got you covered.
To decide what kind of lawyer you need to have a chat with, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your business’s specific legal needs are. There’s a lot of different things a business might require, let’s discuss some of them in more detail below.
Understanding Your Small Business’s Legal Needs
Every business is different and their legal needs will be unique to others. A small business’s legal considerations will depend on their industry, size, location and business operations. It’s hard for business owners to determine on their own what their business’s legal needs are, so you might need to seek advice from a legal expert on what’s going to be necessary before getting any actual legal work done.
Commonly, small business’s need to be on the lookout for the following types of legal considerations.
Having Strong Legal Agreements In Place
Contracts are one of main ways to protect a business. Whether it’s drafting an agreement with a Supplier, getting Terms and Conditions put in place, having the right agreement with your Employees or a simple Disclaimer, a well drafted legal agreement can make a world of difference.
Legal agreements let both parties know what their responsibilities and rights are. It’s the best way to ensure everybody is on the same page and everything is clearly communicated. If there are any disputes or something unexpected happens, the contracts can always be referred to.
Protecting Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) is often a central part of a business’s identity. Thereforefore, securing legal protection for your IP is crucial. IP can range from a lot of different things however, it’s usually something that isn’t tangible, created from the mind.
Let’s say, you have designed a unique logo for your business. That becomes a form of IP which needs protection so someone else can’t use it without your permission. In order to protect the logo you designed, you’ll need to get it registered as a Trade Mark.
Getting a trade mark registered is a pretty complex process that takes several months- having the help of a legal expert can ensure everything happens the right way.
There’s a lot of different forms of IP and various legal instruments that can be utilised to safeguard them. It’s best to talk to an Expert in IP Law for more information.
Ensuring Compliance With Consumer Laws
As a small business, compliance with consumer laws are one of the main regulatory requirements you will need to adhere to. Australian Consumer Laws (ACL) have some pretty strict regulations for businesses engaging with customers. These requirements are related to your conduct, policies and transparency, so it’s important to be well aware of them in order to avoid making any mistakes. Chatting to an expert in Consumer Law can help you gain some clarity regarding your obligations.
It’s important to remember, consumer law doesn’t just place an obligation on small businesses, it protects them as well. The ACL has taken steps to recognise the vulnerability of small businesses when they are acting as consumers, usually with larger businesses. Therefore, understanding the ACL also means getting a good grasp of your own rights.
So, How Do I Find The Right Lawyer For My Small Business?
As we’ve noted in this article, a good lawyer for your small business should be well versed in their area of practice, as well as transparent about their services. Taking care of legal matters is something that is ongoing for small businesses. Plus, you never know when you may have a legal question you need to ask (and it’s always better to ask than it is to not).
Therefore, it is necessary to find a lawyer that is convenient and works for you. It needs to be someone you can turn to anytime- it’s never a good sign if you need to chase your lawyer down for an appointment or to get things done. Getting your business’s legal matters sorted shouldn’t be a hassle!
Not to toot our own horn (okay maybe just a little) but here at Sprintlaw, we’re a completely online law firm. That means, you can reach out to us when it’s convenient for you and get your legal work sorted from wherever you’re comfortable. Simple, easy and stress-free.
A good lawyer can make a winning difference, so choose wisely. To summarise what we’ve discussed:
- Having a legal professional for your small business is crucial for protection and stability
- A small business lawyer handles various legal tasks, including contracts and compliance
- Transparency in legal fees is vital to avoid hidden costs
- Seek lawyers with fixed fee packages to ensure fair pricing
- Specialised lawyers are preferable for specific legal needs, not generalists
- It necessary to determine your business’s legal needs
- Legal needs vary based on industry, size, location and operations
- Common legal considerations include strong agreements, intellectual property protection and consumer law compliance
- Well-drafted legal agreements clarify responsibilities and rights, preventing disputes
- Intellectual property protection is essential for intangible assets like logos
- Compliance with consumer laws is crucial for small businesses
- Finding a lawyer who is well-versed, transparent, and convenient is essential
- Online law firms like Sprintlaw offer accessibility and convenience for small businesses
If you would like a consultation with one of our legal experts, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no-obligations chat.
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