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How Do You Know When Your Business Needs a Solicitor?

How Do You Know When Your Business Needs a Solicitor

As the owner of a new business, you might feel that having a solicitor onboard is an unnecessary expense you can’t afford while setting up your company and with so many other aspects of entrepreneurship competing for your finances. There is also a concern that solicitors charge high fees, which makes it practically impossible to hire one.

On the other hand, large companies do not hire a solicitor but staff an entire legal department. They can carry the costs, which a small company cannot manage. Yet, the necessity of having legal help is clear, as these bigger entities demonstrate.

There are many benefits to hiring a solicitor. In the long run, it will save you money when you are sued by a customer who tripped in your parking lot, or a staff member accuses you of harassment or unfairness. You won’t need a solicitor for every aspect of running your business. But when you need one, you need one in a hurry.

When Might Your Company Need a Solicitor?

You do not need to hire a solicitor who is going to charge £200 an hour. But you do need a solicitor who is on hand for difficult instances. Certain aspects of a business will be relatively easy for a business owner to manage alone, whereas others may be riskier. In such cases, a solicitor will be helpful.

Some examples of when you may require a solicitor are:

  • Contracting with or hiring vendors and/or contractors
  • Creating customer or client contracts
  • Conveyancing solicitors when buying property
  • LLC meetings
  • Submitting HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) documentation
  • Coping with HMRC audits
  • Staying in line with recruitment, retrenchment, and dismissal legislation
  • Partners’ buy-sell agreements
  • Drawing up a partnership agreement, shareholder’s agreement, or incorporation documents
  • Obtaining business licenses and permits
  • Writing a business plan
  • Getting an employer identification number
  • Finding and trademarking a name for the business
  • Updating legal agreements
  • Reserving a website domain name
  • Checking lease documents

This is not a complete list, but it serves to illustrate the many ways a solicitor can be of use to your business. If you are confident to proceed on your own, this is up to you. However, there are five reasons why your company will need a solicitor. It need not cost a lot for these individual sets of circumstances.

When Will Your Company Need a Solicitor?

As a strategic business advisor, your solicitor can assist with many aspects of business without needing to hire one as an employee. Many possibilities exist when having a solicitor that will give you peace of mind, such as those listed above, especially when you lack the knowledge. However, the following are times when you are better off having a solicitor’s assistance.

Contracts

Attracting investors and getting them to reach a contractual agreement can be time-consuming and difficult. This will be strengthened by having your solicitor present during meetings. You will also need help in drawing up the paperwork and advising you on how they should be stored.

Compliance

Getting staff to be legally compliant can be an uphill job. Calling your solicitor in to explain what is required and the consequences of non-compliance sends a strong message that employees are more likely to take on board. This can prevent many problems down the line.

Partnerships

You should certainly not consider entering into a partnership without a solicitor advising you. The terms of the agreement need to be transcribed in a proper legal format that conveys the desired meaning and that doesn’t mean something else. This will protect both partners’ interests.

Finances

White-collar crimes may be committed in ignorance of the law. However, that will not work as a defense. Especially with financial matters, getting your solicitor’s input before acting can save your reputation, huge fines, and jail time. Remember that any deal that seems too good to be true probably is. Let your solicitor check it out and help you avoid scams and engaging unknowingly in criminal activities.

Property Purchases

When purchasing property, you will need the services of London conveyancing solicitors. There are many stages to the process where conveyancing solicitors in London are vital and will help you get things done in the right order, making for a much smoother progression to taking possession of the property.

When You Should Use a Solicitor

In most of the issues listed under ‘When might you need a solicitor?’ above, a competent business owner will cope with dealing with these aspects alone. However, there are bound to be one or two when you know that you are better off with a solicitor’s assistance. We have also provided a list of five instances ‘When will you need a solicitor?’ above that indicate circumstances where you should obtain legal work from a professional.

Any instances that may have liability issues, where you doubt your knowledge and experience, or that are too complex and onerous are better handled with the help of a solicitor.

Some additional incidents where you will definitely need a solicitor are:

  • Selling your business to acquire another one.
  • Environmental problems.
  • Adding appreciated properties to your LLC or partnership agreements.
  • When any government files papers against your business or wants to institute an investigation.
  • Being sued by current, former, or potential employees to do with unfair dismissal, discrimination in hiring practices, or unfair promotions.

Prevention of Legal Problems

It is far better to practice prevention strategies than to find a way to resolve a problem once it has occurred. Your solicitor plays a big role in ensuring that your business is off to the best possible start with regard to legal matters. This involves you having the wisdom to know when to call on your solicitor for a particular task.

Remember that once a crisis has happened, you will be paying a solicitor anyway, along with court fees, fines, and damages. For instance, if your dismissal of an employee is ruled unfair, and this may be a procedural error only and not because of the facts of the case, you may have to rehire that employee and backpay them for the time they were unemployed, as well as their legal costs.

Consultations

One option to reduce the costs of hiring legal help is to enter a consultation agreement with your solicitor. You would undertake to do all the research and draw up the requisite documentation. Your solicitor would then review what you have done and provide further guidance. This will still save you from the dangers of a lawsuit involving a lot more money and far less stress.

The costs of this option are minimal and help you to avoid massive costs in the future because of an important omission or a wrongful inclusion. Where the matter is less straightforward or you feel it is too complex and will take up too much of your time, you can get your solicitor to do everything for you.

Conclusion

Don’t wait until the last minute to get legal help on your side. While you are making plans to open your business, you should have this on your to-do list. If you have already opened a business, you are bound to have identified many instances when it would have been better to have had a solicitor on hand. A solicitor will be able to recognize a potential problem before it actually becomes one.

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