A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.
No one starts a business with the intent of winding up in a lawsuit, but it can happen to even the most well-run companies. If you're not prepared for a corporate law dispute, your business could be in for a world of trouble. Luckily, having a corporate lawyer on retainer can help keep your business on track and out of court. Here are just a few ways corporate law can affect your bottom line if you don't have an attorney watching your back.
1. Contract Disputes
If you're in business, chances are you've signed a contract (or several) at some point. Whether it's a lease agreement, vendor contract, or employee handbook, contracts are binding legal agreements that can have serious consequences if not followed correctly. If someone sues your company for breach of contract, you could be on the hook for damages, including lost profits and court costs. A corporate lawyer can help you avoid these disputes by drafting clear, concise contracts that protect your interests.
2. Intellectual Property Infringement
Your company's intellectual property is one of its most valuable assets. From trademarks and copyrights to patents and trade secrets, intellectual property law protects your ideas and inventions from being used or copied without your permission. If someone violates your intellectual property rights, you could be entitled to damages and injunctions to stop the infringing party from continuing to use your work. A corporate lawyer can help you safeguard your intellectual property and enforce your rights if they are violated.
3. Regulatory Compliance
Depending on the industry you're in, there may be a host of state and federal regulations that apply to your business. From environmental regulations to labor laws, failing to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines, lawsuits, and even criminal charges. A corporate lawyer can help you navigate these complex laws and ensure that your business is in compliance.
4. Tax Issues
Taxes are somewhat complicated, and even well-meaning businesses can make mistakes that lead to audits and penalties. If your company is accused of tax fraud or evasion, you could be facing significant fines and even jail time. A corporate lawyer can help you stay on the right side of the IRS and avoid any potential tax problems.
Having a corporate lawyer on retainer may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the cost of not having one could be much higher. If you're not prepared for the legal challenges that can come with running a business, you could find yourself in some legal troubles. So before you get too deep into your next business venture, make sure you have an attorney on your team to help you avoid any legal pitfalls.
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31 May 2022