There are two vital professionals that every business needs from the very start. This includes a lawyer and an accountant. Reasons associated with hiring accountants are obvious. You will need this type of service to assist you in the set-up of “chart accounts”, preparing all the necessary local, state and federal tax returns, as well as reviewing your accounts and numbers periodically.
Reasons for hiring legal services for your profession, are not so apparent. However, hiring a business attorney will offer you with essential assistance in just about all aspects of your company, from trademark advice and copyright, basic zoning-compliance to liability, lawsuits and formal business-incorporation.
Similar to doctors, attorneys and lawyers have become increasingly specialized. A lawyer that does mostly house closings, wills and other types of “non-business” matters is usually not the best type of legal professional when it comes to your business or profession. At the very minimum you should be looking for the following skills sets. In addition, the more skills that this one legal professional has, the better.
1. Business Organizations
You will require an attorney that can assist you in deciding whether a limited-liability company or a corporation is the best way to organize the business. This will be followed by preparing all the needed paperwork.
You need legal services that will be able to gain an understanding of your business fast. They should also be able to prepare standard contracts that you need for your suppliers, clients and customers as well as assist you on how to respond to any contracts that need signing from other businesses or people.
3. Taxes And Licenses
Even though the services of an accountant include preparing and filing your tax returns for your business every year, your lawyer must have the know how on registering your company for state and federal tax-identification numbers. They should also have an understanding of tax consequences for the basic types of business transactions that your company will engage in.
4. Real Estate
Leases when it comes to commercial space such as retail stores and offices are usually complex and typically drafted so that they benefit the landlords. Due to the fact that they are usually “print form” documents you may make the assumption that they cannot be negotiated on. This is not so, and your lawyer should offer you with a standard “tenant’s addendum” that contains the provisions that can benefit you, which can be added into the printed-form lease documentation.
5. Intellectual Property
If you happen to be in design, media or any other creative-type businesses, it is definitely an advantage when your lawyer can assist you in the registration of your services and products for copyright and federal trademark protection. Typically, though these task types are conducted by the specialists that only specialize in legal work for intellectual property. If your attorney states that they “specialize in small businesses”, then they usually should