Nearly 50% of small businesses in the U.S. fail after five years and 1/3 close their doors after ten. Why? While a wide variety of issues can affect a small business’s success, one of the biggest influencing factors deals directly with ineffective legal advice. Businesses both small and large rely on contractual relationships to facilitate the growth and ongoing success of their enterprise. Comprehensive contracts act to ensure fair terms and sound partnerships when it comes to everything from taxes to trademarks, lawsuits to liability.
Many small business owners put off hiring a lawyer, as lawyers are an added expense many new business owners feel they can’t afford. As a result, small companies forgo legal advice and suffer tremendously as a result. Most small business owners mistakenly believe that lawyers are for large corporations and billion-dollar businesses. However, investing in sound legal advice is often times even more important for smaller businesses than it is for larger ones.
Large corporate ventures often have the experience and thorough understanding of the nearly infinite array of legal issues involved in doing business today. New and inexperienced business owners are often naïve to the laws and legal restrictions that guide zoning compliance, copyright and trademark advice, business incorporation, contracts, lawsuits, liability, government ordinances, and so much more. Knowledgeable lawyers are able to inform and assist small businesses before major problems arise, helping to circumvent legal issues and full-blown court proceedings before they happen.
One of the biggest benefits that a lawyer can provide to a small business is that of contract review and assessment. Entering into contractual relationships is an unavoidable part of being a business today, no matter how big or small. The scary fact is that once any agreement has been signed, it is binding. Numerous small businesses enter into contracts without the advice of a lawyer, and as a result suffer from massive legal consequences – many of which can ultimately contribute to the company’s demise. It’s an avoidable reason why so many small businesses today fail to make it in the long run.
Getting quality legal advice is the easiest way to ensure that contracts are drafted properly and with the best interest of your business at hand. In addition, a lawyer can make sure that each contract is legally sound and valid, according to the nuances of state law.
Lawyers with experience representing small businesses can help you draft agreements, review existing contracts, and help alleviate the need for the extensive research necessary in ensuring contracts are done correctly. In addition, apt legal assistance can provide quality legal representation should you need representation filing a lawsuit or if you find yourself the unfortunate recipient of a Summons and Complaint.
Think of hiring a lawyer as an investment as well as a preventative measure. As a small business owner, you may not anticipate major lawsuits or liability cases or the need for large-scale contracts. Yet, all businesses rely on contracts and, unfortunately, liability issues will always arise. Getting a lawyer's help in advance not only helps minimize the effects of these types of incidents, but also helps avoid them in the first place.
If you, a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker is a small business owner who needs legal assistance, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to make an appointment today. We proudly serve clients throughout Washington and Idaho and are available to meet in person, by phone, or via Skype or FaceTime.