Ok, you are probably thinking, of course this business law attorney is going to tell me that I have to hire a business law attorney – does he think I was born yesterday??

But the purpose of this post is to help San Diego business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups understand the value of good legal representation.  So, if you read this post and go out and hire a different attorney, that’s still a win for me.  Just go find one, and develop a relationship with them.  If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, you will need one.

And here’s why…

Business lawyers are not only for when you have been sued.  Basically, if you have been sued, it’s too late.  You should have hired a lawyer a long time ago.  The goal of any good business law attorney is to guide you through preventative steps to minimize risk of a future lawsuit. Most entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startups decide to save money by not hiring a lawyer early.  However, let me tell you, I worked in civil litigation for six years, and there is one thing I know for sure – you will pay A LOT MORE money to defend a lawsuit than you will to hire a lawyer to set up your business right at the outset.  Lawsuits are one of the biggest drains on money, time, resources, and energy.  You do not want to be involved in one.  Trust me investing at the beginning is so worth it.

So, what are the types of things a business law attorney can help you do to prevent lawsuits?

  1. If you are running your own business, you should have a written contract to govern every key relationship you have.  At a minimum, you should have incoming and outgoing products or services.  That means a written contract for your customers or clients, and a written contract for your vendors or suppliers.  Having a professionally prepared contract is a huge opportunity for you to do business on your terms.  It makes you look more professional, and people expect it.
  2. Business Entity. Business entity formation is an essential part of being a business owner, entrepreneur, or startup.  At some point, you will have to consider forming an entity to run your business.  The decision on whether to choose a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or other entity is an important step, and a business law attorney can help guide you through the process.
  3. Real Estate. Whether you buy or rent, your business will one day need a home.  Commercial leases can be long and complex.  Also, a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups don’t know that all leases are negotiable.  You do not have to just accept what is offered to you.  Having an attorney on your side for the negotiations can make sure that the lease you sign protects your interests, and you have full understanding of your rights and obligations.
  4. It’s always an exciting and nerve-wracking time when you reach the point in your business where it’s time to bring on employees.  Whether they are independent contractors, or full employees, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Getting a few things in line before you bring on new members to your team can give you the peace of mind to grow and grow and grow!  On the flip side, cutting corners at this critical stage could open your budding business to some pretty substantial liability.
  5. Intellectual Property. You have worked so hard to develop your product or artwork or brand.  Now is the time to protect that hard work!  A business law attorney can help make sure your creation is registered either through a copyright or a trademark.  This means you have the power to protect it and prevent others from stealing your hard work and passing it off as their own.

So yes, I know I am a San Diego business law attorney telling you why you need a San Diego business law attorney.  I know it sounds ridiculous, and you’re probably rolling your eyes right now.  But, seriously, consider it.  Even if it is not DuFord Law.  Find someone you are comfortable with and someone that you can trust and call them when you have questions.  It will be worth it in the long run.