Utah lawyers for your business


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

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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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Do I Need an LLC (limited liability company)

Slowly becoming more as a standard for businesses, a Limited Liability Company (or LLC) is a hybrid business form which combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax treatment and ease of administration of a partnership.

The LLC is America’s newest form of business organization and is the most popular form of business.

The "owners" of an LLC are referred to as "members." Depending on the state, the members can consist of a single person, two or more people, corporations or other LLCs.

Unlike shareholders in a corporation, LLCs are not taxed as a separate business entity. Instead, all profits and losses are "passed through" the business to each member of the LLC. LLC members report profits and losses on their personal federal tax returns, just like the owners of a partnership would.

In other words, in the eyes of the government, an LLC is not a separate tax entity, so the business itself is not taxed. Instead, all federal income taxes are passed on to the LLC's members and are paid through their personal income tax. While the federal government does not tax income on an LLC, some states do, so make sure to check with your state's income tax agency.

Since the federal government does not recognize LLC as a business entity for taxation purposes, all LLCs must file as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship tax return.

LLCs that are not automatically classified as a corporation can choose their business entity classification. To elect a classification, an LLC must file Form 8832. This form is also used if an LLC wishes to change its classification status.

Disadvantages of Limited Liability Company (LLC)

More expensive to form than sole proprietorships and general partnerships.

Ownership is typically harder to transfer than with a corporation.

Limited Life - In many states, when a member leaves an LLC, the business is dissolved and the members must fulfill all remaining legal and business obligations to close the business. The remaining members can decide if they want to start a new LLC or part ways. However, you can include provisions in your operating agreement to prolong the life of the LLC if a member decides to leave the business.

Also, because the LLC is a newer business type, there is not as much case law to rely on for determining precedent.

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Business Lawyer: Yes, You Do Need to Hire One Immediately


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


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The "C" Corporation


A corporation is the most common business structure. A corporation is an independent legal entity owned by its shareholders.

This means that the corporation itself, not the shareholders that own it, is held legally liable for the actions and debts the business incurs.

Corporations are more complex than other business structures because they tend to have costly administrative fees and complex tax and legal requirements. Because of these issues, corporations are generally suggested for established, larger companies with multiple employees.

For businesses in that position, corporations offer the ability to sell ownership shares in the business through stock offerings. “Going public” through an initial public offering (IPO) is a major selling point in attracting investment capital and high quality employees.

A corporation’s shareholders, directors, and officers must observe particular formalities in a corporation’s operation and administration.

For example, management decisions must often be made by formal vote and recorded in corporate minutes. Director and shareholder meetings must be properly noticed and documented.

Finally, corporations must meet annual reporting requirements and pay ongoing fees in their state of incorporation and in states where they are registered to transact business.

Taxation is a significant consideration when choosing a business type, and a C corporation is taxed as a separate legal entity (which means no pass-through taxation like a partnership). A business tax return is filed and taxes are paid on the corporation’s profits.

If the corporation distributes profits to the shareholders in the form of dividends, shareholders pay income tax on those distributions. This creates a double taxation of corporate profits.

As with any business type that offers liability protection to owners, a corporation must be created at the state level. Articles of Incorporation (sometimes called a Certificate of Incorporation) in the appropriate state must be filed and filing fees paid.

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West Jordan UT

Lawyer for Starting a 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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Woods Cross UT

Top Rated Business Lawyer


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Should I Get An S Corporation?


An S corporation is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election which we will discuss shortly. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation by electing to be treated as an S corporation.

To be considered an S corp, you must first form a business as a C-corporation in the state where it is headquartered. S corporations are "considered by law to be a unique entity, separate and apart from those who own it."

This limits the financial liability for which you (the owner, or "shareholder") are responsible. Nevertheless, liability protection is limited - which means that S corps do not necessarily shield you from all litigation such as an employee’s tort actions as a result of a workplace incident.

What makes the S corp different from a traditional c-corporation is that profits and losses can pass through to your personal tax return. Consequently, the business is not taxed itself. Only the shareholders are taxed. There is an important factor.

However, any shareholder who works for the company must pay him or herself "reasonable compensation." Basically, the shareholder must be paid fair market value, or the IRS might reclassify any additional corporate earnings as "wages."

Advantages of S-Corporation

Tax Savings - only the wages of the shareholder who is an employee is subject to employment tax. One of the best features of the S Corp is the tax savings for you and your business. While members of an LLC are subject to employment tax on the entire net income of the business, only the wages of the S Corp shareholder who is an employee are subject to employment tax. The remaining income is paid to the owner as a "distribution," which is taxed at a lower rate, if at all.

Business Expense Tax Credits - Some expenses that shareholder/employees incur can be written off as business expenses. Nevertheless, if such an employee owns 2% or more shares, then benefits like health and life insurance are deemed taxable income.

Independent Life - An S corp designation also allows a business to have an independent life, separate from its shareholders. If a shareholder leaves the company, or sells his or her shares, the S corp can continue doing business relatively undisturbed. Maintaining the business as a distinct corporate entity defines clear lines between the shareholders and the business that improve the protection of the shareholders.

Shareholders are typically not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities

Unlimited life extending beyond owner illness or death

Additional capital can be raised by selling shares of the corporation’s stock.

Pass-through taxation.

Remember - you must file a form 2553 with the IRS within the timeframe or you won't have an S corporation!

Disadvantages of S-Corporation

There are IRS imposes restrictions on S corporation shareholders:

Be a domestic corporation

Less than 100 shareholders

Be Individuals, certain trusts and estates

Cannot be non-resident aliens

Have only one class of stock

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Contract Business Attorney


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Competent business attorneys are a great addition to your team of advisor's when buying or selling a business. Attorney's can cover your assets and help make a well structured deal, air-tight. When it comes time to draft agreements and close a deal you have to take precautions that you are not leaving any loose ends. You do not want any loopholes left open in your purchase agreements, stock sales, leases, or otherwise have any business liabilities that could come back to haunt you in the future.When looking for a business attorney to help you with the purchase or sale of a business it is a wise choice to use an attorney with acquisitions or corporate transaction experience.Oftentimes a party will have a relationship with the family attorney who does a great job handling matters of taxes, real estate, wills and things of this nature, but will end up winging-it when assisting a buyer or seller of a business. Buying or selling a business requires a specialist.Corporate transaction attorneys will help you with your letter of intent, employment agreements, and non-compete agreements. They will guide you in due diligence by reviewing loans and leases.The buyer's attorney will customarily draft a purchase and sale agreement and take care of the closing procedures for his party.If you're retaining a general practice attorney to handle this for you, you're really just paying for your attorney's education. Just like there are doctors that specialize in all forms of medicine. The vast areas and specialties of law keep any single attorney from being good at all of it.A real estate attorney will seem like a natural choice as well, from the sense of "Closing" a deal, especially in the case where smaller business a real estate broker is representing a party, but you still have to answer the question of competence handling the sale of a business or corporate entity.Use your best judgment.

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What Is Business Law?


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Are you starting a business? Hiring or firing top-level employees? Signing a deal or contract?Buying or merging with another company?When do you exactly need a business attorney?Before hiring a business attorney, you might want to ask your prospect these questions:o How long he has been practicing law?o What is his area of specialty?o Has he represented a similar company before?o Who are the other lawyers and paralegal who will work with him in the firm?o How much are the legal fees and the expenses that will be charged?o Are the sample legal forms, agreements and policies that you can see?o How many corporations has he incorporated?o Has he any experience in handling employment matters?o Has he any experience in dealing with tax issues?o Has he any business advice to keep you safe from lawsuits?When serious legal problems arise, you will need the skills and experience of a business lawyer. Here are a few situations when the services of a business lawyer are needed:o In special allocation meeting - This is the time when you and your business partner decide to set aside profits and losses in your partnership agreemento When either one of you in the partnership wants to donate or contribute an appreciated property to the partnershipo When an employee or former associate threatens to sue your companyIn addition, when business is running, you will need the services of a lawyer to do the following tasks:o Prepare written agreements for hiring of contractors and consultantso Create documents for clients and customerso Document business meetings and actionso Call and hold corporate meetings, and prepare its minuteso Draft buy-sell agreements with business partnerso Update and make necessary changes in business agreementso Handle tax auditGenerally, what a business attorney can do is protect your business from resource-draining lawsuits and litigation. A lawyer can always offer measures to avoid the potential danger of frivolous lawsuits. Here is some of it:o Protect personal assets by separating personal property from business assetso Give attention to details such posting of warning signs and labels on productso Post store policies in public areas such as dressing rooms, in company literature on the website and even in store receiptso Ensure potential hazards are cleared which include posting of warning signs to avoid accidentso Make a record of customer phone requests, suggestions and complaintso Attend to customer needso Supervise staff training on policies and guidelineso Make insurance coverage for the company against accidents, injuries, theft, and liability.Business attorneys are vital to business and finding the one who will truly represent your company is never easy. After selecting the lawyer that you need, the next thing to do is to find out information about his background and experience.Former colleagues and clients can provide you with a wealth of information about a lawyer's background and credentials. You can also check his membership in the state bar association to confirm his legal personality.For more information about the most relevant business law applicable to your particular case, request the guidance of business law attorneys services.

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Contract Attorney

Do you need assistance with your contract?

A contract is a legally binding agreement made between two or more individuals.

The law protects all rights within a contract from the moment all parties sign it. The only exception is if a contract is deemed unlawful or contains serious inaccuracies.

Any party who does not follow promises made in a contract can be held liable.

A contract lawyer is necessary to make sure the contract is lawful and to make sure all parties signing the contract understand the details.

What Does a Contract Lawyer Do?

A contract lawyer serves two main purposes:

The first is drafting contracts and other legally binding documents.

The second is reviewing contracts that have already been drawn up – in some cases, by a different lawyer.

Contract law can be confusing and complicated.

Furthermore, the wording and formatting of legally binding documents tend to be perplexing to anyone who doesn’t fluently speak legal jargon. The purpose of a contract lawyer is to make creating – or signing – a contract a little less bewildering.

Contract Drafting

The first thing a contract lawyer does is draft a contract. This involves tailoring the legal document to fit your specific wants and needs.

It is not uncommon for certain words or phrases in a legal document to be taken the wrong way.

A business contract lawyer will go through the contract and clarify anything that might be questionable to either parties.

Hiring a contract lawyer to ensure you have a well-drafted contract is beneficial for the following reasons:

It will prevent disputes. A well-written contract with everything clearly established is going to make it harder for either party to dispute the contract. Ideally, the contract should satisfy both party’s wants and needs.

It will define the relationship you and other parties have. When everything is said and done, your contract should leave no grey area when it comes to the relationship you have with the other parties.

It will comply with the law. Having your contract drafted by a business lawyer is the easiest way to make sure you are legally covered when both parties sign the contract.

At our Law Firm, we take great pride in drafting and tailoring a contract that is in the best interest of both you and the other parties signing the contract. The contract will be easy to understand and prevent all burdensome legal issues.

A business lawyer can help you from the very beginning of your business, the formation, throughout the years as you grow and succeed. A business lawyer is knowledgeable and experienced and knows how to make sure you are protected and compliant every step of the way.

Contract Review

You already have a contract drafted because you used a contract outline you pulled from the internet and did it yourself – great.

It is still in your best interest to have a lawyer review the contract before you – or the other party – signs it.

Chances are, you did a pretty good job outlining the details of the agreement you and other parties are making to call for the contract in the first place.

You, however, do not look at a contract with the same perspective as a professional contract review lawyer. Law firms such as Mollaei Law are going to look at everything that could possibly go wrong and make sure that is included in the contract. A lawyer will also check for any loopholes the other party could use against you.

Some important items to check before a contract is signed include:

The contract accurately reflects your understandings of the terms of the contract. The benefits and risks of entering the contract - analysis of whether the benefits of entering the contract is worth the risks associated with the contract You are made aware of your responsibilities under the contract and the obligations of each parties are adequately explained and noted. Parties are accurately identified Correct date is stated, and if needed, a correct end date is noted. Hiring a lawyer to review a contract is about protecting yourself.

Obviously, you created the contract because you want legal protection. It is worth taking the actual step to make sure the legal document fully protects you and doesn’t leave anything out.

Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Contract Before Signing?

Ideally, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer read over any legally binding document before you sign it.

The last thing anyone wants to do is find out they unintentionally agreed to something because they didn’t understand the contract. An attorney can guarantee the contract is in your best interest.

Regardless of what type of contract you are getting ready to sign, contact us at 1-800-564-2707 before you sign any legal document or contract.

This way a contract review lawyer can read the contract over and make sure it is your best interest. If necessary, the lawyer can request revisions to the contract before you sign on the dotted line.

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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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