If you’re running a business it’s tempting to believe that you can get away without using a solicitor. After all, they cost money don’t they; money that could be better spent on developing other aspects of your operation. However, there are some things for which a solicitor is essential and in fact, using one can help you save on expensive disputes in the future.
The first area where the involvement of a lawyer is essential is property transactions. Buying or leasing premises is one of the largest expenses for any business so it’s important to have someone who understands the intricacies of the contracts involved. It’s also useful if you’re a landlord and want to ensure the smooth handling of your property portfolio.
Find a solicitor who has knowledge of the local area as they will be able to advise you on any special requirements that you may need. They should also have a good relationship with local estate agents and lenders and so will be able to ensure that the whole process runs as smoothly as possible.
Commercial and Contract Issues
Lawyers are useful in setting up businesses too. When starting a business from scratch they can help you with issues like partnerships and shareholder agreements, even with buying a franchise. This can include advising on the viability of a particular scheme and on protecting brands and commercial know-how.
If you’re buying a business or you’re merging with or taking over another company then a solicitor can advise you on the due diligence required and help with the financial and accounting issues too. Whatever the size of the business you need a lawyer to consider not just the legal issues but also the commercial implications of the deal.
Contracts are another key area where you need a solicitor. This can include outsourcing the supply of goods and services, drawing up licenses for intellectual property or software, and more. Having a properly drawn contract at the start will help to ensure everything runs smoothly further down the line.
Employment and Disputes
If you employ other people then making sure their contracts are properly drawn up is vital. A solicitor can advise on this as well as assist with policies and creating related documents key to employment like a staff handbook.
Should you have been in business for some time you may require help redrafting your existing contracts to take account of revised employment legislation too. Termination packages for employees and directors are another area where enlisting legal help early in the process can avoid problems in the long run.
If the worst happens and things are going wrong then a solicitor can help you with resolving various disputes. Whether they arise from trade, intellectual property, or health and safety, these are things that can be costly and time-consuming to resolve if not handled correctly.
If you need assistance with collecting debts from your customers then here again a solicitor is an important part of the process. They can advise on enforcement strategies – along with their cost-effectiveness against the value of the debt – and help you to put in place procedures to ensure the debt is managed effectively in the future.
When choosing a solicitor you need someone who is going to be a good fit for your enterprise. Ideally, you need a firm in your local area that’s easy to deal with. It’s also good to find one who has experience with your particular type of operation. A good solicitor should be a positive contribution to your business and help to make it run smoothly.
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