When Should I Consult A Business Attorney?

oldPAcourt of armsConsulting a business attorney on every aspect of your business’s operation can be expensive.  However, trying to make important decisions that have severe legal repercussions by yourself without speaking to an attorney first can be costly.  It is important to be aware of what you can do by yourself and what types of work require an attorney.  Remember: saving some money now could cost you more later on if you get sued and have to hire an attorney to represent you in court, when he could have simply advised you on how to do things the right way from the beginning.

Circumstances under which you may not need legal representation

The legal issues surrounding the formation or operation of a business can be tricky, and it can often be confusing to figure out what sorts of tasks you as a business owner can do by yourself and what work requires the training, knowledge and experience that a seasoned business attorney can provide.  As a general rule, anything involving filling out standard forms or researching basic information can be done without the aid of a lawyer.

This can include work such as:

  • researching and reserving business names and trademarks
  • creating operating agreements
  • applying for an Employer Identification Number, licenses, and permits
  • filling out IRS forms
  • documenting company meetings
  • hiring employees and contractors

When you probably need legal representation

However, in situations involving major or complicated legal issues, you will need to hire a business attorney to ensure that everything is handled properly.

Pennsylvania's U.S. District Courthouse where civil litigation cases are heard.

Pennsylvania’s U.S. District Courthouse where civil litigation cases are heard.

Examples include:

  • dealing with environmental issues caused by or otherwise involving your business
  • addressing complaints or investigations by government entities
  • selling and buying businesses, making a “special allocation” of profits and losses
  • contributing appreciated property to your business, breach of contract issues
  • business collections issues
  • insurance coverage issues
  • lawsuits brought against your business

You may even need multiple attorneys who can each deal with separate specialized issues.

Mistakes in your legal documents could mean big costs down the road

Dealing with these sorts of complex issues requires expertise that only an experienced corporate lawyer can provide.  It is important to retain counsel to advise you on how to approach these problems as soon as they come up, because it will be more expensive if you wait until a lawsuit is filed or other action taken against you.  It may also be a good – and cost-efficient idea – to have an attorney review work you have done ahead of time.

You could have your attorney review work that you prepared yourself to ensure that it is legally sufficient, rather than asking him to do that work from scratch.  It will take less of your attorney’s time (and therefore, reduce the fee) while still preventing small mistakes now from developing into bigger problems down the road.

If you are seeking the counsel of an experienced corporate attorney in Chester County, PA or the 15th Judicial District of Pennsylvania

I invite you to contact the experienced legal team at Berkowitz Klein LLP.  Our attorneys have been representing businesses and business owners in commercial collections and litigation matters for over 25 years.  To speak with one of our attorneys today, contact Gerald Berkowitz by phone at (610) 889-3200 or by email at gsb@berklein.com.