Woodruff Utah contract attorney

 

Woodruff Utah

Small Business Attorney

 

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Most states require that an entity doing business within their borders designate and maintain a Registered Agent. The Registered Agent can be an individual or company hired to receive Service of Process on behalf of the business. However, not all entities are registered in all states, not all are active and some do business under as many as 40 plus entity names. It is the lawyer's responsibility to find out which entity name they are serving and who the Registered Agent is. If the information is wrong, the lawsuit will be delayed. To find the necessary information, the attorney's staff should be intimately familiar with Secretary of State websites.Each Secretary of State website lists an entity as either "Active" or "Inactive." "Active" means the entity is in good standing and has paid their yearly fee while "Inactive" means they have not, In fact, "Inactive" may indicate that the entity is no longer in business or meet the qualification so the Five-year rule.The most perplexing error may be in determining which entity name is the correct one. For example, an entity may be doing business under both Talbott, Inc. and Talbott, Corp. If a lawsuit is submitted just to "Talbott," it will be returned.The larger Registered Agent companies have offices in nearly every state. They collectively receive thousands of lawsuits a week that generate huge piles of work. Of those, several hundred are returned at the Registered Agent's expense for various reasons. Attorney's who repeatedly make the same errors soon stand out in the Service of Process Specialist's mind and their lawsuits often go to the bottom of the pile. There is no time limit on returns, the Registered Agent makes no money and it may be as much at a week or two before the returns are written up and sent out.The answer is simple. A well informed staff that understands the Registered Agent process can virtually eliminate these and many other costly mistakes.

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Fruitland Utah lawyer for business lawsuits

 

Fruitland Utah

Lawyer for Starting a Business

 

local business attorneys

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Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don't have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g., you're sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run. While you certainly don't need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer. Issues You Can Handle on Your Own There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can? The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print): Writing a business plan Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online) Reserving a domain name for your website Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder's agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure) Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state anti-discrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees) Submitting necessary IRS forms Documenting LLC meetings Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors Creating contracts for use with customers or clients Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder's agreements under which you are currently operating Handling audits initiated by the IRS The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws. You want to make a "special allocation" of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn't cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized) Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn't hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you'll be paying in attorney's fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you've already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Free Case Review for Your Business Needs Call 1-800-564-2707 today.

You won't need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it's good to know where to find the right one. FindLaw can put you in touch with a small business attorney in your area to help answer your questions. Learn more with a free case review.

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Eden Utah general counsel

 

Eden Utah

Business Attorneys - What Is Their Role When Buying And Selling A Business?

 

contract attorney

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Have you ever wondered about what a small business attorney is? Well, if you have, then welcome! A small business attorney is a person that went through years of schooling to get his or her degree in business to be able to learn and grow as a businessperson.Small business attorneys have all sorts of duties. They find information about how to start a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, franchises, general business law, and taxation. They can study their processes and regulations in order to assist people in a more explainable manner. Small business attorneys give individuals the tools and advice in order to help their business grow. With that being said, if you want to start your own business, think about creating a partnership. When creating a partnership a person can find the assistance they need from a small business attorney and the attorney can help out with the important filings that you need for a small business.There are of course other orders that have to be met by the state of California in order for businesses to be accepted. Among them are that corporations and companies file a form called a "statement of information". Your small business attorney can help you out by explaining to you which forms you need to use in order to file your papers. The attorney may also tell you that you can fill out the papers at the secretary's main website.Small business lawyers concentrate on many factors that have to do with businesses. They know about sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLC'S, corporations, nonprofit corporations, business contracts, hiring workers, and risk management for your business. Small business attorneys deal with and cover many of these situations no matter what type of company it is.A small business is considered small based on certain standards that have to do with various industries in relation to the state of the economy. The laws and the rules that your business has to follow depend on each state, the legal formation of your business, and the nature of the product and service your company offers to people. Since the laws change year after year, there is no way of keeping a checklist as it may have old laws and regulations from the past.That is why if you are planning on starting a small business of your own it is best if you obtain a small business lawyer in order to have a clear sense and not fall into any serious business trouble that you may have if you do it on your own. A small business lawyer does not only give you advice and counsel about the laws that have to do with owning a small business but they also represent you when any legal problems occur.You have probably heard, in the past, about the many different types of insurance that exist today. But have you ever heard of a process called insurance claims? An insurance claim is a request made to an insurance company. It can be any type of insurance but, mainly, it is a person asking for payment based on the regulations of the insurance policy. In other words, insurance claims are then reviewed by the company for their acceptance and then once that is finished it is finally paid to the insured or the requestor.Insurance can cover everything from death benefits on life insurance policies to routine health tests for your well being at your local doctor. On the other hand, claims are filed by third parties for the insured person. There are many types of insurance available, for example, health insurance, disability, auto, life, home, and car accident.The main function of business law is to cover all laws that govern any business and commercial transactions. It is also thought of as being a civil law that revolves around both private law and public law. Within business law there is something called commercial law, which has two elements; a principal and an agent. This mainly has to do with things like carriage by land and sea, merchant shipping, fire, life, insurance accident, bills of exchange and partnership.Other countries have made their own civil codes that communicate statements of their own commercial law. In the United States, commercial law is part of the United States Congress and its power to control interstate commerce. A lot has been taken care of in order to better the unity of commercial law in the United States.

it's time to higher the big guns - you need a 5-star rated business attorney call 1-800-564-2707. lawyer for business lawsuits

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Willard Utah small business law

 

Willard Utah

Corporate Counsel

 

local business attorneys

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I get asked this question all of the time. Mainly, this question comes from people I run into that own and operate a small business and have always done things for themselves. The business may have a few employees, own some assets and is quite profitable. When speaking with them, I always hear "I don't really have any legal problems so why do I need a lawyer? Business is good and my employees love me." Well, when I hear this, I know what I am getting into.The first thing I ask these people is: how is your business structured? LLC? Corporation? Once we determine that answer, the next questions become: Do you have an operating agreement if you are an LLC or by-laws if you are a corporation? Do you have annual meeting minutes? Seven out of ten times people respond "no" to these questions. This is why they need a business lawyer. If they are not following corporate formalities and organizational protocols and someone would sue the company, the chance of that plaintiff piercing the corporate veil and attacking the owner's personal assets increases exponentially.Another question I ask is: do you have written contracts for the work you perform and the business dealing you are involved in? About 4 out of 10 say no. Again, this is why they need a business lawyer. The handshake agreement doesn't work in today's society. Everything should be in writing, not because you can trust no one, it is because you need to protect your rights. If they don't have contracts they use or have written them themselves, you can bet that they will spend insane amounts of money to settle disputes that could have been prevented by working with a business lawyer from the start.Lastly, I usually ask them if they understand the various federal and state employment laws that govern the employer-employee relationship. Most respond with "Pennsylvania is an employee at will state and I can fire anyone at anytime." This is what I call a ticking time bomb. Yes, it is true that Pennsylvania recognizes employment at will; however, there are various laws that give employees protection from discrimination, unfair treatment, unfair wages, etc. Most of the time these business owners have no idea what they don't know and end up doing something that costs them ten of thousands of dollars to settle. This is why they need a business lawyer.So as you can see, there are many reasons to work with a business lawyer when you own a business from the start. People improperly assume that the only time they will need a lawyer is in the event that they get sued. However, a good business lawyer will help you run your business in a way that limits the reasons for which you could be sued at a fraction of the cost it will take to litigate and resolve a dispute down the road.

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Eureka Utah business lawyer consultation

 

Eureka Utah

Corporate Counsel

 

litigation attorney

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When to Hire a Business Lawyer

There are two professionals every business will need early on: an accountant and a lawyer. The reasons for hiring an accountant are pretty obvious--you need someone to help you set up your "chart of accounts," review your numbers periodically, and prepare all of your necessary federal, state and local tax returns. The reason for hiring a business attorney may not, however, be so apparent. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from basic zoning compliance and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation and lawsuits and liability. First, some general rules about dealing with lawyers:

If you are being sued, it's too late. Most small businesses put off hiring a lawyer until the sheriff is standing at the door serving them with a summons. Bad mistake. The time to hook up with a good business lawyer is before you are sued. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it's too late--the problem has already occurred, and it's just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, attorneys' fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved. America's judicial system is a lot like a Roach Motel--it's easy to get into court, but very difficult to get out once you've been "trapped." Most lawyers agree that while nobody likes to pay attorneys' fees for anything (heck, let's let our hair down--nobody likes paying or dealing with lawyers, period), but the fee a lawyer will charge to keep you out of trouble is only a small fraction of the fee a lawyer will charge to get you out of trouble once it's happened.

Big firm or small firm? Generally speaking, the larger the law firm, the greater the overhead, therefore the higher the hourly rates you will be expected to pay. Still, larger firms have a number of advantages over smaller ones. Over the past 20 years, lawyers have become incredibly specialized. If you use a solo practitioner or small firm as your lawyer(s), it's likely that they will not have all the skills you may need to grow your business. I don't know of any solo practitioner, and very few small firms (under 10 lawyers) that could handle your lawsuits, negotiate your lease of office or retail space, file a patent or trademark, draft a software license agreement, advise you on terminating a disruptive employee, and oversee your corporate annual meeting. Sooner or later, these "generalists" will have to refer you out to specialists, and you will find yourself dealing with two or three (or even more) attorneys. While larger firms are more expensive to deal with, they have two significant advantages: 1) they usually have all the legal skills you need "under one roof," and 2) they have a lot of clout in the local, regional and (perhaps) national legal community. A nasty letter from a "powerhouse" law firm with offices in 30 states is a lot more intimidating than a nasty letter from a solo practitioner who is not admitted to practice in the defendant's state. Also, being connected with a large, well-established law firm may have intangible benefits--they may be willing to introduce you to financing sources or use their name as a reference when seeking partnership arrangements. Certainly if you run a fast-growing entrepreneurial company that plans to go public (or sell out to a big company) some day, you would need to work with lawyers whose names are recognized in the investment banking and venture capital communities.

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Mona Utah business law office

 

Mona Utah

Business Attorneys - What Is Their Role When Buying And Selling A Business?

 

local business attorneys

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Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don't have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g., you're sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run. While you certainly don't need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer. Issues You Can Handle on Your Own There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can? The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print): Writing a business plan Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online) Reserving a domain name for your website Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder's agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure) Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state anti-discrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees) Submitting necessary IRS forms Documenting LLC meetings Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors Creating contracts for use with customers or clients Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder's agreements under which you are currently operating Handling audits initiated by the IRS The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws. You want to make a "special allocation" of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn't cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized) Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn't hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you'll be paying in attorney's fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you've already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Free Case Review for Your Business Needs Call 1-800-564-2707 today.

You won't need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it's good to know where to find the right one. FindLaw can put you in touch with a small business attorney in your area to help answer your questions. Learn more with a free case review.

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Huntsville Utah corporate counsel

 

Huntsville Utah

General Counsel

 

contract attorney

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When to Hire a Business Lawyer

There are two professionals every business will need early on: an accountant and a lawyer. The reasons for hiring an accountant are pretty obvious--you need someone to help you set up your "chart of accounts," review your numbers periodically, and prepare all of your necessary federal, state and local tax returns. The reason for hiring a business attorney may not, however, be so apparent. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from basic zoning compliance and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation and lawsuits and liability. First, some general rules about dealing with lawyers:

If you are being sued, it's too late. Most small businesses put off hiring a lawyer until the sheriff is standing at the door serving them with a summons. Bad mistake. The time to hook up with a good business lawyer is before you are sued. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it's too late--the problem has already occurred, and it's just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, attorneys' fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved. America's judicial system is a lot like a Roach Motel--it's easy to get into court, but very difficult to get out once you've been "trapped." Most lawyers agree that while nobody likes to pay attorneys' fees for anything (heck, let's let our hair down--nobody likes paying or dealing with lawyers, period), but the fee a lawyer will charge to keep you out of trouble is only a small fraction of the fee a lawyer will charge to get you out of trouble once it's happened.

Big firm or small firm? Generally speaking, the larger the law firm, the greater the overhead, therefore the higher the hourly rates you will be expected to pay. Still, larger firms have a number of advantages over smaller ones. Over the past 20 years, lawyers have become incredibly specialized. If you use a solo practitioner or small firm as your lawyer(s), it's likely that they will not have all the skills you may need to grow your business. I don't know of any solo practitioner, and very few small firms (under 10 lawyers) that could handle your lawsuits, negotiate your lease of office or retail space, file a patent or trademark, draft a software license agreement, advise you on terminating a disruptive employee, and oversee your corporate annual meeting. Sooner or later, these "generalists" will have to refer you out to specialists, and you will find yourself dealing with two or three (or even more) attorneys. While larger firms are more expensive to deal with, they have two significant advantages: 1) they usually have all the legal skills you need "under one roof," and 2) they have a lot of clout in the local, regional and (perhaps) national legal community. A nasty letter from a "powerhouse" law firm with offices in 30 states is a lot more intimidating than a nasty letter from a solo practitioner who is not admitted to practice in the defendant's state. Also, being connected with a large, well-established law firm may have intangible benefits--they may be willing to introduce you to financing sources or use their name as a reference when seeking partnership arrangements. Certainly if you run a fast-growing entrepreneurial company that plans to go public (or sell out to a big company) some day, you would need to work with lawyers whose names are recognized in the investment banking and venture capital communities.

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Elberta Utah business lawyer near me

 

Elberta Utah

Business Lawyer

 

business lawyer near me

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No matter what my personal role in a business transaction-as business owner, supplier, customer, facilitator, or as an attorney for one of the parties-everyone has the same reaction to the lawyer's participation: "Oh, no....now nothing is going to get done....here come the lawyers!"Before I became an attorney, I felt the same way. The presence of them seemed to automatically up the tension and the probability that whatever we wanted to get accomplished just wasn't going to happen (or if it was, with a tremendous amount of difficulty). Why is this? Why does everyone dread a lawyer's participation in a business transaction, and what can be done, if anything, to change that?I believe the first part of the question may be answered, on one hand, by the simple fact that most people consider them to be a necessary evil. You don't call one because you want to, you call one because you need to. The feeling that you need to do it could stem from a variety of reasons-fear that the other side will take advantage of you, a feeling that you don't understand the situation as well as you would like, apprehension of what will happen if you don't have someone to stand by your side, that the other side, at the very least, will perceive you to be vulnerable without their presence, or just simply because they have a level of understanding and expertise about the issue which you don't possess.On the other hand, I also believe that people dread the lawyer's participation due to a misperception about the lawyer's role. Unfortunately, lawyers themselves also hold this misperception much of the time, which only aggravates the situation.So what is this misperception?In a business transaction, like most other attorney-client relationships, their job should be to advise the client-you. Generally, the purpose of hiring one is to minimize the risks and maximize the advantages to you, the client, as much as possible. What often happens, though, is that the lawyer and/or the client lose sight of the business transaction at hand. No one would argue that there are risks inherent in every business deal. The risks for you are different from the risks to the other side. The question is, how much risk are you willing to assume in order to accomplish your goal of completing this business transaction?When the focus shifts strictly to minimizing the risks, the ultimate result is often that that the other party no longer finds the business deal attractive, or feels that they just cannot work with you. When this happens, many businesspersons have lost sight of the goal because they become focused on allocating liability to the other side. When this happens, it often causes a breakdown in relationships between the parties-and most of the time, to the parties' detriment, not to their advantage.In the end, it is important to remember at all times that you are, ultimately, the decision maker, and your lawyer is the one who gives you advice and options, which you may choose to take, or not (because this is your business and you have to be the one ultimately responsible for making the business decisions). One of the first decisions you need to make is about what type of lawyer you want to work with. Everyone wants someone who will be looking out for their interests, but what does that mean? Does it really mean you hire someone who helps alienate your valuable business associates because they are so busy "protecting your interests" that they lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish? Or does it mean that you find someone that understands the needs of the small business person, including the real possibility that you may have to accept a certain level of risk in order to get things done? Although there are many attorneys who practice business law, most attorneys are not businesspersons in the traditional sense. There is a wide difference between understanding negotiation and litigation. It is important, therefore, that whoever you hire, they can fully explain to you, in plain language, what the risks are and the potential outcome(s) of your decisions from a legal standpoint-and that you take the advice and make decisions accordingly.

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Dugway Utah business lawyers

 

Dugway Utah

Securities Lawyer and Reg D Attorney

 

lawyer for small business

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Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don't have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g., you're sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run. While you certainly don't need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer. Issues You Can Handle on Your Own There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can? The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print): Writing a business plan Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online) Reserving a domain name for your website Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder's agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure) Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state anti-discrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees) Submitting necessary IRS forms Documenting LLC meetings Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors Creating contracts for use with customers or clients Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder's agreements under which you are currently operating Handling audits initiated by the IRS The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws. You want to make a "special allocation" of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn't cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized) Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn't hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you'll be paying in attorney's fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you've already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Free Case Review for Your Business Needs Call 1-800-564-2707 today.

You won't need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it's good to know where to find the right one. FindLaw can put you in touch with a small business attorney in your area to help answer your questions. Learn more with a free case review.

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Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Employment Contract Before Signing?

A promising company has just offered you employment. You are happy with the numbers and ready to sign the contract.

Even though everything feels right, it is still in your best interest to have a contract review lawyer examine the contract before you sign on the dotted line.

In fact, there are a lot of reasons why you want a contract lawyer to review your employment contract before signing it:

Job Security: Are you getting any sort of job security with this contract? This is a question only a lawyer can answer for you. Compensation and Benefits: A lawyer will make sure you understand what compensation and benefits are being offered through the contract with this job. Termination: This one is important. You want to make sure the contract doesn’t give the employer too much flexibility with how or why you can be terminated. The contract should ensure you must be terminated with just cause. A contract lawyer is also going to look for non-compete clauses, moonlighting clauses, and invention clauses.

You really need to know whether or not you can get another job in the same industry if you lose this job. You also need to know if your ideas and inventions are yours – or if they belong to the company.

How Much Does a Contract Lawyer Cost to Review My Contract?

Here you are – looking at a contract you drafted based on an outline you found on the internet.

You think it looks alright, but you also wonder if you should have a lawyer look at the contact. Then, you ask yourself, “How much is it going to cost to have a lawyer review my contract?”

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is the same as any other type of lawyer service you could need: it depends.

Some lawyers like to charge an hourly rate while others prefer a flat-rate basis. For some, the price varies with the contract.

Typically, hiring a lawyer to review a contract will always be cheaper than hiring a lawyer to draft a contract. A contract lawyer may offer a flat-rate based on how long the contract is or how fast you need the contract reviewed.

How to Find a Contract Lawyer to Review My Contract?

Finding a reputable contract lawyer to adequately and efficiently review your contract is not always an easy task. Unfortunately, just doing a quick search on Google is just going to bury you under advertisements of lots of different options.

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