Why Your Small Business Should Have a Lawyer on Retainer

As they try to control legal expenses, small business owners sometimes make the mistake of entering into a long-term business agreement or closing a deal without seeking the advice of a business attorney. Unfortunately, they often suffer the consequences because the fail to take that step. For example, the may discover that a major distributor or supplier they deal with is really in control, or that they have unknowingly surrendered ownership of certain intellectual property.

Why this happens

Business owners might assume that things will continue to go smoothly, or that they know what they are getting into. They might also feel that they can use a generic form they found on the Internet or a sample contract that they used in the past fits virtually every case, and they fail to consider that a contract must be tailored to meet specific goals. Without a doubt, the most foolhardy of all decide to let the other party’s attorney draw up the agreement they need.

If you ever feel like signing whatever document the other party’s lawyer prepares, remember that the one paying the legal fees will end up with a contract that puts them at a decided advantage. Their attorney is legally bound to protect their interests and does not represent you in any way.

Note that when a business relationship is new, the optimism can be almost palpable at times. However, there are always challenges to be met, and many of these relationships only last so long. Ideally, a contract for business partners covers unanticipated issues and changes they might have to face in the future, or the issue of dissolving the relationship if that becomes necessary.

What you can do

Small business owners can avoid such problems by consulting a lawyer with the expertise to ensure that the contract they plan to sign leaves nothing to be desired. By taking some reasonable preventive measures, they can circumvent major legal setbacks in the years to come by following the advice of a highly skilled professional.

This is definitely a lesson that you don’t want to learn the hard way. Instead, make it a point to develop a relationship with a reputable business attorney who can assist you in avoiding unintended legal outcomes in conducting your business negotiations. To control your costs, find a law firm that offers a fixed- fee arrangement, and develop the habit of not signing anything until it has your lawyer’s approval.

Author Bio

Zachary has been freelance writing for several years and has dabbled in law services here and there. He is currently writing on behalf of The San Diego Law Firm of Bradley Corbett, an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer.

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