If you own a small, local business, you already know that entrepreneurship has lots of expenses, including different types of legal assistance. Below, we will look at a few ways that business owners can access the legal help they need without going into debt.
Types of Help
Throughout the course of running your business, you may find yourself in need of these types of legal services:
- Debt collection. People don’t always pay their bills. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes, they have experienced an emergency, and their cash flow is gone. Others might think your quality is poor. You may need a debt collection agency to collect this money. Before hiring, make sure you understand the fees, which are usually a percentage of collected funds.
- Selling your business. You might need an attorney to help you sell your business. But, before you call someone, you can do some work on your own by figuring out how much your company is worth. If you do not wish to pay for an appraisal, you can get a good idea by looking at your business compared to similar ones in your area. You can also add up the value of your assets as well as your earnings, both pre-and post-tax.
- Employee theft. Employee theft is a hot topic. Given the number of security cameras in businesses across the nation, it is also on the decline. That doesn’t always stop unscrupulous workers from taking what’s not theirs.
- Trademark disputes. According to Winston & Strawn, LLP, a trademark infringement happens when a company or individual utilizes another’s intellectual property for financial gain. This might happen if a competitor uses your logo to sell goods and services under your name. This deceptive practice is illegal, and you may be entitled to compensation.
- Injuries on your property. Injuries on your property or caused by your products or services can cost you a lot of money. If you already have business insurance, you should have some form of protection, and your insurance company may have attorneys that will work to reduce the insurance firm’s liability.
How to Find Affordable Services
Legal help is not cheap. But, that does not mean that it has to cost you everything you have in savings. A few ways that you can save money here are to:
- Network. Networking is one of the best things you can do for your business, especially when you need help with things outside of your area of expertise. Talk to your business contacts, customers, and even service providers for recommendations on an attorney.
- Research. Sometimes, all you really need is knowledge. Do your research by reading blogs from local attorneys or looking at government websites (the IRS, for example) for information on the topic that you need help with.
- Have an attorney on retainer. A retainer is a dollar amount of money that you prepay to an attorney’s office so that they can help you on short notice. The Weisblatt Law Firm notes that this might be anywhere from $500 up to $5000 or more, but this ensures that you have a helping hand if you find yourself on the wrong end of litigation or dealing with contracts, HR, or liability issues.
There is no escaping legal issues when you run a business. But, your legal obligations don’t have to cost you everything. Start by knowing what types of help you might need, and then look for ways to save. You can network, have someone on retainer, or simply do your own research. Whatever you do, be prepared for the unexpected.
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