Deciding to open your first business is an exciting and exhilarating time for an entrepreneur. However, the decisions you make in the early stages of your business can have significant implications for the future success of your enterprise. It is crucial to keep several considerations in mind and ensure that you have the right people advising you. One key element is having a trustworthy lawyer to help you navigate legal challenges.

Here are five reasons why you should consult with a small business lawyer before starting your business in Ohio:

You need to select the right business structure.

One of your initial decisions will involve choosing the appropriate legal structure for your business. Options include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. A competent lawyer will help you understand the pros and cons of each option and guide your decision-making process.

You need to protect your intellectual property.

If you have developed a unique product or service, it is essential to protect it from being copied or stolen without your permission. Simply placing a © or Trademark on your website and contracts will not suffice. Your lawyer should help you understand the various options available, such as trademark, copyright, and patent protection. Your lawyer will also assist you in enforcing your rights if your intellectual property is used without your consent.

You need to draft contracts and agreements that will protect you and your business.

As any business owner can attest, you will need to enter various contracts and agreements with employees, customers, suppliers, landlords, and other parties as soon as you open your business. Relying on template agreements found online may result in your interests not being adequately protected. When you hire an attorney, you enlist their experience and expertise. A worse situation occurs when a business owner simply signs a contract without fully understanding it. This could mean the difference between your business succeeding or failing. Hiring a lawyer can help you comprehend the implications of these documents and the importance of specific terms.

Even if you make all the right decisions, you will have to manage legal issues and disputes.

Despite taking precautions, there is always the risk of legal disputes arising in our litigious society. A savvy lawyer will help you not only navigate these issues but also work to resolve them in a way that is favorable to your business. In worst-case scenarios, you will need a lawyer to represent you in court, either defending against lawsuits or enforcing your rights.

Every business must comply with government regulations.

For better or for worse, numerous regulations apply to every business in Ohio, including employment laws, tax laws, health and safety regulations, and many more, depending on your industry. A lawyer can help you fully understand your obligations under these laws, how to comply without excessive expense, and ensure that every aspect of your business is compliant. The most significant expense any business owner can face is when they find themselves out of compliance and facing costly fines, penalties, or legal action by the State or Federal Government.

A lawyer can provide invaluable guidance and protection as you start your business. Without a lawyer’s assistance, you expose yourself to expensive lawsuits, extensive legal fees, and even the failure of your business. Our firm has experience helping entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and taking the right first steps. Please call us at 216-644-3359 to schedule a consultation with our team, so we can set your business on the right path.

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