When Should a Business Seek Legal Advice?

At various stages along the natural lifespan of a business, it becomes necessary to bring in legal expertise from outside. In most cases, it’s best to do this proactively; it’s easier, and cheaper, to anticipate and avoid legal problems than is to deal with them as they arise. While many small business owners view legal costs as a financial burden, the investment in legal service delivery specialists can usually justify itself in the long-term as they’re able to assist in areas which can ultimately help your business move forward.

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When is legal advice required? 

Legal advice is required at various stages throughout the business’s lifespan. Startups which haven’t yet built up a base of customers will need to make preparations for the future – but mature businesses who are able to stand on their own two feet will still benefit from legal advice in the handling of contracts, the process of franchising, and the process of mergers and acquisitions. Having someone ready to hand will help you to avoid getting stung in these situations.

Legal advice needn’t be expensive. You might consult others who’ve worked in business, who have been through the same process as you’re contemplating. You might also talk to bodies like the Citizens Advice Bureau. Bear in mind, however, that a qualified, dedicated lawyer will be able to provide a level of attention and expertise that the free options can’t match.

What does a Start-up Need?

By consulting a lawyer at the start of the journey, you’ll be able to get all of your ducks in a row toward the end. A lawyer will help you to refine your business plan, including details that you might not have thought of. They’ll be able to tell you where trademarks might play a critical role in your success or failure, and tell you which patents are worth pursuing, and provide advice about the timescale. 

What do I need for a legal meeting?

When you’re meeting with a business lawyer, it’s best to come prepared. The more information you can provide them with, the better the job they’ll be able to do. Try to anticipate questions that they might have. If it helps, you might make a list of points you’d like to cover using pen-and-paper.

Generally speaking, you’ll need to get across how the business will be owned, and what it will be selling. You’ll need to outline any rights that need to be protected, and exactly who will be making the goods or providing the services. An experienced lawyer will be able to pick up on what’s relevant, and where the potential tripwires might be.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.