There are over one million business lawyers in the U.S., which shows how reliant companies are on them.
Understanding the roles of business attorneys will help you decide the one best suited for your needs. But, if you’re new to the world of corporate law, it can feel impossible to navigate.
Sounds like you? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the different types of business lawyers that every company should know.
General Business Lawyer
Your company may need one of the business lawyer types to help you. As the name suggests, these attorneys work on a wide range of cases and have a deep knowledge of the law. If your company doesn’t need industry-specific help, a general business attorney is for you.
Further, if sales have dipped and you’re worried about losing your business, ask the lawyer about bankruptcy laws. The professional can use these to offer solutions and overcome challenges you may face.
Employment and Labor Attorney
When you hire a business law firm, you’ll come across an employment and labor attorney. Note, these lawyers are for companies that have multiple employees as it prevents lawsuits.
In the worst-case scenario, a team member may seek legal advice if they experience a hostile work environment, have faced discrimination, or have been wrongfully fired. Also, employees who are victims of sexual assault will consult an employment and labor attorney to guide them through the process.
Real Estate Lawyer
Small businesses should consult real estate business lawyers when finding a storefront. Once you’ve found your dream space to rent, find a lawyer who can review the lease before signing the dotted line.
It will also help you pinpoint issues you can negotiate on that you would otherwise overlook.
Another reason to hire a business lawyer is for tax purposes. Crunching numbers can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not math-savvy, so hiring a lawyer is a no-brainer.
Tax lawyers help businesses when they’re audited or if the authorities want to pursue legal actions against them.
Many businesses need a litigation lawyer to manage conflicts that could arise in the company. During this process, both parties must present motions and share evidence to support their claim.
Also, if the case cannot be resolved internally, expect to stand trial in a courtroom instead.
Intellectual Property Attorney
Depending on the products or services you sell, you may need an intellectual property attorney. This is often reserved for businesses that apply for a patent so that they can capitalize on their idea.
If any other business or company has used your idea, your lawyer can then sue them as compensation.
Sure, using a contract template addresses the basics, but you should get a personalized one to protect your business.
It also reduces the risk of making a generic claim that you can’t legally abide by. To avoid any problems, hire a contract law so that they can create documents tailored to your business’s needs.
And if an employee does breach the contract, your lawyer will help recover damages and seek compensation.
In a similar vein, businesses should look into data security laws to protect their customers. It’s essential for any company that sells products online; otherwise, their customer base is at risk.
Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer
Large corporations that are blending with another company will need a mergers and acquisitions lawyer.
M&A lawyers help their clients secure the necessary financing and share their expertise on every aspect of the deal, from drafting the deal to negotiating it. Because it’s a complicated process, businesses need legal help to prevent any costly mistakes.
How to Find a Reputable Business Lawyer
Not all business lawyers are created equal, so spend time researching options. Make sure that you’re only contacting lawyers that are experts in the necessary section. For instance, you wouldn’t hire a privacy lawyer to handle your tax issues.
To start your search, ask your professional network for any recommendations, especially if they’re in a similar situation. The beauty is that they will give you honest feedback about whether the lawyer is worth the time and effort. If not, enter “(the branch of law) and (your area)” into Google and check out the top hits.
Ideally, you’ll choose professionals that have a minimum of three stars. Then, spend time reading through the comments and take note of any negative recurring comments, as that’s a major red flag.
When you’ve got your top three options, arrange a free consultation to learn more about the lawyer and their service. Come prepared with a list of questions as it’ll make the decision process easier. For instance, ask how the lawyer can help your case and why they’re the best fit for the job.
Note, not all lawyers should be kept on a retainer, so only hire one when necessary.
Business Lawyers 101
Now that you’re an expert on business lawyers, it’s time to hire one for your company.
There are many lawyers that all companies should have, such as a general business lawyer and a private one. Small businesses may also need an intellectual property attorney and an employment one, especially if you have a team. Which one will you hire?