In case you need legal help

Here are several ways to contact us

When You Probably Need an Attorney

There are a few situations when you’ll want or need the advice of a good small-business attorney. Here are just a few examples of serious legal issues that require the help of an experienced lawyer:

  • You and your business partners want to make so-called “special allocations” of profits and losses in your partnership agreement or LLC operating agreement (this is a tricky area that needs the help of an experienced tax attorney).
  • You or your business partners want to contribute appreciated property to a partnership or LLC (this also requires the assistance of an experienced tax attorney).
  • You’re buying a business and a major environmental issue comes up (environmental protection laws carry heavy penalties for landowners, even for those who didn’t cause the contamination).
  • An employee or former employee threatens to sue your business for discrimination or one of your managers for sexual harassment.

When it’s Time to Retain a Lawyer

While a lawyer and eager online brokers will be willing to help you with any of the items listed above, you’ll need an attorney for more complex issues.  These can include:

1. Forming a corporation – While you can often take care of the formation of a legal business entity such as an LLC or business partnership without legal help, forming a corporation with shareholders and a board is a more complex process. Articles of incorporation can be filed without lawyers, but the administrative side of managing the complex tax and legal requirements often requires the services of a corporate attorney.

2. Filing a Patent – Patents are expensive and time consuming. It can take years to get one approved.  That’s why so often see “patent pending” messaging in the marketplace. So unless you are in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, consider whether patenting your product actually gives you a major market advantage. Consult a patent attorney to help you evaluate your product and understand what rights you will achieve.

3. Litigation – This can include dealing with lawsuits by current or former employees or customers, discrimination or harassment lawsuits, environmental lawsuits, government investigations for legal violations, etc.

4. Buying or Selling a Business – Lawyers can help with negotiating sales agreements, lease agreements, and more.