Why you should have a corporate lawyer on staff

Corporations and small businesses are sites of expertise in their own industries. Business executives are highly specialized professionals whose main focus is on the efficient and profitable management of their businesses. These professionals should be able to devote their time and energy to that purpose, without worrying about the big and small legal problems of their companies. If you are running a corporation or a small business, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney or in-house staff to help you handle legal matters. Below are some of the reasons why you should hire a dedicated attorney who is familiar with your business.

Contracts and other commercial agreements

Whatever your business, it is very likely that you routinely enter into and execute contracts with a variety of parties. Typical corporate contracts include sales contracts, leases (real estate and other), supply agreements, and corporate or partnership structure documents. The consequences can be serious if one of these agreements contains an unfavorable or unenforceable provision. While your company’s staff may be skilled negotiators, an attorney can review these documents to help protect your company from litigation or other negative effects of unenforceable contracts.

The HR minefield

Employment law is a complex area of ​​law with radically different requirements for different types of companies and employees. A general counsel can help you and your human resources staff with common legal issues related to employee leave, benefits, and hiring practices.

Normative compliance

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be subject to various regulatory requirements at the local, state, and federal levels. Examples include securities regulation, environmental regulation, campaign finance/political regulation, and intellectual property registrations. Since regulatory violations can result in substantial fines, it’s important to stay abreast of these ever-changing rules. An attorney can help you identify the relevant requirements and complete any necessary government filings or reports.

fiscal advice

Your tax obligation and liability depends in part on the corporate structure of your company. While you should use a certified accountant for tax preparation, an attorney can help with tax planning and advice to help you minimize your overall tax burden. An attorney can even help you structure your business from the start in a way that reduces tax liability.

Litigation and crisis management

While the other examples deal primarily with “chronic” legal problems, having an attorney on staff can also help you with “acute” legal problems, such as civil or criminal litigation or government investigations. In addition to drafting pleadings, an attorney can help you with settlement negotiations.

Since these legal matters can be time-consuming, keeping an attorney on staff ensures that your company devotes proper attention to legal obligations while your business professionals remain focused on the business itself. You may retain outside counsel from a firm that has experience in each of these areas, or you may retain in-house counsel as an employee of the firm itself. Whichever option you choose, you can rest assured that a knowledgeable attorney will minimize your business liability and ultimately save your business money in the long run.

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