How a Good Business Lawyer Helps You Survive in the Marketplace
Starting any business is risky. According to one report, eight out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 18 months. As the article says, that is a “whopping 80% crash and burn” rate. However, there are ways to increase the chances of survival. A startup that survives is often one that has:
- Founding entrepreneurs with a love of their product and/or service
- A solid capital foundation
- An excellent business plan
- A well-considered market niche to exploit
- A good team including dedicated employees, a knowledgeable CPA, a good insurance broker and a skilled and talented business lawyer.
Indeed, a good business lawyer is useful at every step in the process of setting up a new business and can help your startup survive in a competitive marketplace. Here are some of the many ways a business lawyer can help your business:
As said, a solid capital foundation is needed for any startup to survive. A good business attorney with the skills and experience of forming businesses can serve as an excellent tool to starting off on the right foot. Your lawyer can prepare the private placement memorandum needed to raise capital through a Regulation D securities offering if that is your chosen method. Likewise, your trusted business lawyer can review all the documents if you have an “angel” investor or if you are obtaining startup funds through more traditional sources including, without limitation:
- Traditional lender financing
- Monetizing intellectual and other property
- Royalty financing
Setting Up and Maintaining Your Corporation or LLC
Likewise, a good business lawyer can help set up your corporate entity to insulate you from personal liability. Like a high-performance automobile, your business entity needs regular maintenance and checkups. To keep your corporation/LLC in good standing, there are forms to be filed every year and, as we wrote recently, your franchise taxes have to be paid.
Your dedicated business lawyer can also draft operating agreements, bylaws, shareholder agreements, and all the other legal documents needed to satisfy the corporation formalities.
Everyday Business Contracts: Vendors, Employees, Customers
Running a business in today’s marketplace involves a lot of contracts. You want to run your business and focus on satisfying customer demand and seizing market share. A good business lawyer can help you run your business in several ways including, without limitation:
- By removing from your “to-do list” the task of “reading contracts” thereby freeing up your time so you can run your business
- By making sure your contracts are suited to your needs
- By giving your contracts “teeth” that protect your business
- By defending your business from hostile contracts written by others
- By formalizing your day-to-day contracts such as customer and vendor contracts, employment agreements, etc., making subsequent day-to-day use worry-free and effortless
- By streamlining by combining many separate requirements into a single document (e.g, your employee handbook)
Helping with Property: Leasehold, Real, Intellectual and Personal
At some point, every business will be leasing or buying property. A talented and experienced business lawyer is advantageous at every stage in the process to review and negotiate terms in the lease or in the purchase/sale contracts. Likewise, it is likely that your business will have intellectual property like trade secrets. Customer lists, for example, are legally protectible trade secrets. Your business lawyer can provide guidance on how to protect those trade secrets and other intellectual property to bring the most benefit to your business.
Other types of intellectual property include:
- Internet Domain Names
- Copyrights and
Business Sale: Business Purchase
A business that has survived through its first years may find itself with suitors. Or, maybe, your business wants to expand market share by buying another business. Your business lawyer is going to be essential in all aspects of the sale or purchase.
Handling the Hostilities
Running a business is stressful enough. Sometimes you just need your lawyer to handle the hostilities. You received an angry, unpleasant letter in the mail. Let your trusted business lawyer take care of it.
Contact San Diego Corporation Law Today
If you are starting a new business or seeking to expand or buy a business, contact attorney Michael Leonard, Esq., of San Diego Corporate Law. Mr. Leonard provides a full panoply of legal services for businesses including all of the issues discussed above. Mr. Leonard can be reached at (858) 483-9200 or via email.