Smith + Schwartzstein
Located In Morristown, NJ and New York, NY
973-532-2962

Is it time to hire a business attorney?

The United States has become a nation of entrepreneurs and start-ups, thanks in large part to the gig economy and the rise of the independent contractor, niche markets and artisanal products.

If you're among the many who have found their passion (and, hopefully, their fortune) doing what they love, it could be time to run a few things by a business attorney.

Frankly, that's one of the burdens of being in business for yourself. However, there are several things you should consider:

1. Don't let the cost scare you.

Don't wait until you have a legal problem to hire an attorney because you're afraid of the cost. Many attorneys charge reasonable fees -- and it's always going to be less expensive to prevent a problem than fix it.

2. You can tackle short jobs yourself.

For example, you can write your own business plan, pick out your own domain, get your own employer identification number, apply for your own business licenses and create basic contracts. If you're unsure of the steps, many of these things can be found in online guides set up for businesses through government sources and self-help books.

The guiding issue when you decide what to handle on your own should be time. Your time has value. If you're spending hours and hours researching a task, it would be cheaper to pay an attorney to do it for you.

3. Complex issues need experienced assistance.

When an issue has the potential for blowing up into something larger (and more expensive) to correct, it really does help to have an experienced professional on your side.

Some of the things you may want to consider hiring an attorney for include any complaints being investigated by governmental agencies or allegations of harassment or discrimination by employees. Also, if you've decided to get out of business ownership and plan to close or sell your company, it's always wisest to have a business attorney help with negotiations.

Source: FindLaw, "When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business?," accessed March 23, 2018

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