Hiring and working with a lawyer is often confusing and daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. But if you are about to start a small business it is crucial to consult an attorney.
First and foremost, you want someone you can trust, someone who shows a personal interest in you, someone you get along with, enjoy working with, someone who has an interest in what you’re working on, and can relate to you.
At the most basic level you will need an attorney to help you deal with three groups: the government; third parties and the public; and, each other (when multiple people form a business together).
The real value of an attorney when starting a small business isn’t really in preparing the actual documents, but in helping you figure out what you need (sole proprietorship vs. general partnership vs. limited partnership vs. LLC vs. corporation, and so on). Do it yourself forms can be good if you know exactly what you need, but it can’t advise you on what is appropriate for your specific situation.
Once your small business is up and running an attorney can help with a number of other matters most business face such as: hiring employees; negotiating contracts with customers and suppliers; and raising capital.
So whatever stage you are in with your small business I can help.
Whether you realize it or not, contracts impact virtually every aspect of our daily lives. When we get married we enter into a contract. When we lease an apartment or buy a home we enter into a contract. When we have utilities delivered to our apartment or house, we sign contracts. When we buy food or clothing, or go to the doctor or dentist, we act under contracts. When we write a check we act under a contract with our bank to honor the check. In addition the check itself may fulfill our obligation under another contract. We earn our livelihood under contract. The daily business of the world is conducted under a series of contracts.
It does not matter whether a contract is written or oral. If the basic elements are present, an oral agreement is just as valid as a written agreement and enforceable in the same ways. But the fact of the matter is that the terms of an oral contract may be somewhat harder to prove than those of a written contract.
The goal with any written contract is to ensure that the agreement is clearly represented on paper. That sounds like an easy task, but even an easy to understand concept can be difficult to express on paper – especially when there are many options or variables involved.
Now it may sound obvious, but before signing a contract, you should read it. In reviewing the contract, you need to make certain you understand what your obligations are under the contract. If there is any uncertainty as to your duties under the contract, and yet you signed the contract, you may be liable for breaching the contract. Having an attorney review the contract terms will help ensure that your needs will be met and you will not obligate yourself unexpectedly.
So whether you need assistance negotiating a contract, drafting a contract or understanding a contract I can help.