Why Small Business Owners Should STOP Before They Sign… And Hire A Good Corporate Lawyer
As a small business owner – particularly one just starting out – you’re busy focusing on a lot of different facets of your business…
And trying to do so as cost-efficiently as possible.
So when a seemingly simple contract ends up in your hands, you may want to forego having a lawyer review it.
After all, the agreement seems basic enough. It appears to have all the terms set out. You have a good relationship with the other party and trust them. Why spend the extra money?
What could go wrong, right?
We’ve already gone over the reasons small business owners should invest in a good corporate lawyer.
But here are three more to help you understand why you need a business lawyer to review your agreements before you sign them.
#1. You’ll save money in the long-run.
It takes more work for a corporate lawyer to find a solution to a problem after the fact than it does to prevent one from arising in the first place.
This extra work translates into significantly more costs on your end.
So, back to that “simple contract” you signed…
Let’s say you want out. It may well end up costing you far more than you anticipated to have your lawyer disentangle you from it.
When reviewing your contracts, seasoned lawyers – particularly those with litigation backgrounds – are able to consider the multiple ways a deal can go wrong, and implement a framework to deal with them.
#2. A lawyer’s perspective is key to your company’s success.
Entrepreneurs are generally optimists and risk-takers.
When you’re looking over a contract, you’re probably thinking about things like profit and loss, marketing, and so on.
Lawyers, however, are trained to consider the “what ifs,” and their attention is not divided by any competing interests.
Lawyers are able to negotiate agreements so that they are fair – and favourable – to your business.
That’s because a good corporate lawyer has drafted hundreds of these types of contracts for a variety of clients in a variety of industries. They’ve seen it all. And when litigation leads to better practice, they can fine-tune these agreements accordingly.
#3. You’ll be on equal footing with the other party.
It’s possible the other party to the contract had their lawyer draft the agreement in a way that is favourable to them.
And unless you have a lawyer review the contract to ensure your interests are also protected, this could have serious consequences for your business in the future.
To avoid critical mistakes, and ensure the agreement is fair to both parties, have your corporate lawyer review your contracts.
When should I hire a good corporate lawyer?
It’s always best to involve your corporate lawyer from the very beginning of your business.
You’re going to need objective advice on your company’s structure, the agreements and documents you may need, regulations and best practices to follow, and much more.
Your lawyer should review any and all contracts that you sign, and can assist you with drafting others as the need arises. These may include, to name a few, employment offer letters, confidentiality agreements, letters of intent, leases, and loan agreements.