How Lawyers Can Help a Small Business, From A to Z

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a longtime business owner, there are plenty of reasons you may need to consult a lawyer. Lawyers can help business owners make wise decisions every step of the way, and will defend your interests should any business-related disputes arise.

Lawyers can help with:

Incorporation and business structure – Should you establish a limited liability company? An S-Corporation? Sole proprietorship? A lawyer can help you understand the different structures, as well as provide an overview of how their tax liabilities differ.

Lawyers also know what paperwork you need to file to be a legally recognized business in the state(s) where you are operating and what steps to take to trademark your name.

Employee/tenant issues – If you’re a landlord, or a business owner who plans to hire employees, lawyers can advise you how to screen applicants for housing or employment.

  • For landlords: Lawyers can review your existing lease agreement, or create a new one, ensuring that all details and policies are clear. Should a tenant breach a lease, a landlord tenant lawyer can guide you through the steps necessary to evict a tenant. Rental housing laws provide many protections for tenants, and a landlord can easily get into legal trouble by failing to account for all of those provisions. A lawyer’s advice can protect landlords from making legal errors.
  • For employers: Before hiring employees, it’s wise to talk to a lawyer to ensure you’re fully prepared, because even a simple job application or interview involves some degree of legal risk – asking the wrong questions could be a violation of federal and state employment laws.

    The right time to create a company handbook is before you hire your first employee. To protect your business against wrongful termination lawsuits, include language that explains the disciplinary process and consequences for specific on-the-job offenses. Lawyers can provide advice about how to word policies, non-compete agreements, and other employment documents.

Leases – Lawyers can write or clarify leases for landlords and help business-owners by reviewing their leases for any space or building they intend to rent. Leases are sometimes lengthy and complex, and without a lawyer on their side, business tenants may unknowingly enter into rental agreements that restrict their rights.

Premises liability – If you own a brick-and-mortar establishment that serves customers, or a rental property, get legal advice about how to protect yourself and your assets from liability claims. A lawyer can explain your level of risk and may be able to help you decide what type of insurance coverage you need.

Vendor contracts and relationships – A business that relies on vendors or serves professional clients should always have a standard contract specifying rights and responsibilities for each party. Lawyers can draft such contracts and provide guidance when a vendor or client becomes delinquent on deliveries or payments.

Sale, transfer, and dissolution – Lawyers can prepare you for the sale or dissolution of your business, as well as provide guidance about the best method for passing a family business to a relative. When an asset as large as a business is transferred after the death of the owners, many legal issues and tax concerns come into play. An estate plan that addresses all factors ensures surviving family members aren’t left with legal problems.

Lusk Law, LLC, specializes in assisting small business owners, helping to avoid litigation when possible, and we’re ready to actively represent our clients in court when litigation is necessary. Our experienced attorneys have provided legal counsel and representation to landlords in Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Washington County, and Anne Arundel County, and advice to business owners throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.. We have over a decade of experience in representing business owners and landlords, and we’re ready to offer a consultation concerning your rights and obligations. Please call us at 443-535-9715 or fill out our contact form if you have any questions about these topics.

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