How to Know If You Need a Lawyer for Your Small Business

Posted September 4, 2013

Once upon a time, small business owners needed to hire a lawyer for nearly every aspect of their operations, from incorporating to selecting the name, to buying or selling the business. The invention of legal software allows more people to handle many simple issues on their own. Still, there are times that an entrepreneur is best served by getting experienced legal advice and representation. At the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood, we help small business clients navigate all stages of their business.

Setting up your business? Whether you are building your own physical location or leasing a site, you'll have contracts to review and perhaps to negotiate for the most favorable outcome. An experienced attorney can identify stumbling blocks and suggest bargaining points that will benefit you. Maybe you are purchasing your business. In that situation, it's more important than ever to define all components that should be included in the sale. Are there any unfinished details from the previous owner's business that you need to be aware of? A thorough examination of the sales contract can ensure no surprises.

Are you ready to open your business? Ensuring that your HR policies protect you and your employees, while complying with HR laws may require the expert eyes of an attorney. You may want an attorney's advice to help you know your rights if you need to collect debt from clients, customers, or current or former employees, or if you want to ensure your employee confidentiality agreement is ironclad. As a business owner, you may be held liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your site. Moreover, an unhappy customer or employee could file a lawsuit against you. If that happens, you'll certainly want to consult with an attorney to make sure you're aware of your responsibilities and rights and to prepare an appropriate response.

Dissolving your business? Even if you're closing or selling your business, it may be helpful to consult an attorney. Partnership disputes, transfer or sale or property or breaking a lease can be sticky. An attorney can make sure your interests are protected and that unfinished issues will not linger.

With the significant benefits that come from seeking an attorney's advice, some business owners still hesitate to make the investment in legal representation. But if you have legal issues that you don't thoroughly understand or if you feel that a wrong decision can have long-term ramifications, consulting with an attorney may be the prudent step.

If you have a question about starting, running or dissolving your business, the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood is nearby and ready to help.

Law Office of D. Hardison Wood is an advertising partner of, but each article is intended to be educational and informative in nature. 


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