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What a Business lawyer can do for you

A business lawyer will advise you on many different aspects relating to business, such as regulation compliance, business incorporation, and legal liability. The sooner you retain a business attorney, the better. Your lawyer will make sure that you set up your business properly, create contracts for you, make sure you're hiring legal workers, file patents, buy and sell businesses, and more.

What does a business lawyer do?

Many business owners, especially small business owners, think of contacting a lawyer or law firm only when there's an urgent problem that needs to be handled. This approach can be short-sighted. Developing a relationship with a business lawyer you trust can help prevent problems that may arise as your business grows and new legal issues arise.

Choose a legal structure

You may be tempted to organize your business as a simple sole proprietorship. For some business owners, this choice may make sense. However, each situation is different, and your interests may be better served with an LLC or S-corp. If you are starting a business with another person, you should know the difference between a limited liability partnership and other legal entities. If you plan to form an incorporation in the future or stay a small LLC forever are also questions which need to be asked. A small business lawyer can advise you on the right structure for you and draft the proper paperwork.

Corporate governance

If you organize your business as a corporation, you will need to comply with the legal requirements to keep your status, such as holding shareholder or partner meetings, recording minutes, creating bylaws, and electing officers. A lawyer can keep you stay up-to-date with these functions, fees and policy needed.

Intellectual property

If your business is developing proprietary products or processes that need to be protected, a lawyer can help you with contracts and copyright and patent applications, such as nondisclosure agreements, that protect your intangible assets. If your company is going to be creating a lot of intellectual property which could become sued over in the future it is especially important that a lawyer look over all paperwork before it is submitted.

Litigation

If you are ever the subject of a lawsuit, such as a discrimination or harassment suit from an employee, or an action by a customer,company or vendor, you should consult with an attorney immediately. If a state or federal agency, such as OSHA, investigates you, a lawyer can be your advocate and adviser since they are versed in business law. At this point privacy of information may also come into play so a lawyer should be able to walk you through a standard NDA or privacy agreement.

Exit strategies

Many entrepreneurs are eager to start a new business, but they may not think about the possibility that a principal or major stakeholder wants to stop running the business and leave. A business attorney will help you determine the value of your business, should your plans ever change.

How much does a business lawyer cost?

Experienced corporate lawyers can cost between $300 and $600 per hour, depending on a variety of factors, such as the following:

  • Geographic location. Lawyers in major cities may charge more money than those in smaller communities.
  • Level of experience. A partner will cost more per hour than an associate in a firm.
  • Firm size. Lawyers with large, national law firms may charge more than those in smaller firms.

In some cases, a lawyer will charge a flat fee for performing a specific task, such as drafting employment contracts and nondisclosure agreements or setting up an LLC.

5 questions to ask during your initial consultation

Once you've narrowed down your options to a few potential attorneys based on credentials and costs, consider asking them these questions to help you decide which lawyer to contact and ultimately hire:

  • How many clients do you have in my business niche and are you familiar with my industry or field?
  • Will you personally handle my legal paperwork or assign it to an associate or team?
  • Can an associate or paralegal handle some of my legal tasks at a lower rate to keep my costs down?
  • Do you work on a retainer, charge an hourly rate, or assess a fixed rate for a product?
  • Will you or your firm be able to handle all of my business needs, such as tax law or litigation?

Not all business owners will need an attorney when they start a business, but most will benefit from the advice and guidance of a practiced business lawyer at some point in the process. Many new business owners do not regret when they hire an attorney.

Did you know?

Legal woes cost small businesses more than $100 billion a year. One out of every three small-business owners has either been sued or been threatened with a lawsuit.
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Renata Castro
Renata Castro
299

1937 E Atlantic Blvd Suite 106, Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Bar #116889(FL)     License for 2015 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Business | Family | Immigration
Susan Michelle Budowski
Susan Michelle Budowski
251

871 Venetia Bay Blvd. Suite 202, Venice, FL 34285

Bar #731641(FL)     License for 2004 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Consumer protection | Contracts and agreements | Mediation | Real estate
Evan Michael Ostfeld
Evan Michael Ostfeld
226

5421 N. University Dr., #102 Coral Springs Prof. Campus, Coral Springs, FL 33067-4638

Bar #992232(FL)     License for 1993 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Admiralty and maritime | Defective and dangerous products | Personal injury | Social security | Workers compensation | Wrongful death
Angie Lee Smith
Angie Lee Smith
225

1548 The Greens Way Suite 4, Jacksonville, FL 32250

Bar #64072(FL)     License for 2009 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Medical malpractice | Tax | Wrongful death
Michael D Finn
Michael D Finn
172

7431 114th Ave #104, Largo, FL 33777

Bar #89029(FL)     License for 2011 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Class action | Consumer protection | Contracts and agreements | Real estate
Chad Thomas Van Horn
Chad Thomas Van Horn
170

330 North Andrews Ave. Suite 450 (4th Floor), Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Bar #64500(FL)     License for 2009 years

Practice Areas: Business | Chapter 7 bankruptcy | Debt settlement
Ethan Andrew Way
Ethan Andrew Way
142

1020 E. Lafayette Street Suite 112, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Bar #148199(FL)     License for 1998 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Banking | Bankruptcy and debt | Criminal defense | Family | Litigation
Alex McClure
Alex McClure
127

255 Primera Boulevard Suite 160, Lake Mary, FL 32746

Bar #46366(FL)     License for 2007 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and debt | Consumer protection | Contracts and agreements | Debt collection | Debt settlement | Litigation
Loren Weiss Pincus
Loren Weiss Pincus
126

12962 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618

Bar #13841(FL)     License for 2005 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Car accident | Criminal defense | DUI and DWI | Entertainment | Motorcycle accident | Personal injury | Slip and fall accident | Trucking accident | Wrongful death
Ilya Torchinsky
Ilya Torchinsky
116

17100 Collins Ave., Ste. 217, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

Bar #49051(FL)     License for 2008 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Immigration | Insurance | Medical malpractice | Personal injury | Wrongful death
Joseph Gian Colombo
Joseph Gian Colombo
114

2020 W. Eau Gallie Blvd Ste. 106, Melbourne, FL 32935-3114

Bar #118184(FL)     License for 1997 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Foreclosure | Insurance | Land use and zoning | Litigation | Real estate
Loren L Gold
Loren L Gold
105

8050 Cleary Blvd. # 503, Plantation, FL 33324

Bar #785768(FL)     License for 1989 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Car accident | Defective and dangerous products | Insurance | Medical malpractice | Motorcycle accident | Personal injury | Slip and fall accident | Trucking accident | Workers compensation | Wrongful death

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