When entrepreneurs launch a business, they typically worry about the product, the cashflow, the marketing, and the staff before they even think about a lawyer. However, it’s essential for any business, no matter how large or small, to have a commercial lawyer they can call in the face of problems.
Quite a few business owners wait until they are dealing with legal issues to look for a commercial lawyer. This is a poor course of action because lawyers can often prevent legal situations. Smart business owners hire and consult lawyers early on to steer clear of issues before they even happen.
Legal issues can get incredibly pricey and time-consuming. Most entrepreneurs in Edmonton aren’t well-versed with the rules and regulations in the area, so it’s important to have a professional to call on who can give you sound legal advice.
No matter how big or small your business is, you are susceptible to legal issues. Here’s why you should hire a commercial lawyer in Edmonton:
Why do I need a commercial lawyer?
The simplest reason that you should hire a commercial lawyer is that it’s best to have a lawyer to call before you need one. Commercial lawyers are experts at helping you avoid problems before they even occur so that you can rest assured knowing that you are operating according to the law.
If you only seek a lawyer after disaster strikes, the lawyer you hire will be spending considerable time and effort learning about the case after it has already occured. They’ll have to look into the background of the situation as well as the details of your business and how it operates. When you have a regular commercial lawyer, they’ll already be acquainted with your business and will be able to act in an instant. This means that you won’t be spending money on the time they need to learn about the case.
In the same way, as you would hire an accountant and an insurance agent for your business, you should be looking for a commercial attorney. When you have this business connection, you’ll have someone you trust to call if ever you need advice or representation.
Let’s take a look at five specific things that commercial attorneys can do for you
1 – They can help you avoid lawsuits
Prevention is always better than cure. If you’re looking for a lawyer after someone has already filed a claim against you, you’re already behind. A great attorney may be able to minimize the impact, but the damage has already been done.
When it comes to legal issues, be proactive rather than reactive. You’ll often find that many of the issues were completely preventable in the first place. Commercial lawyers have a thorough understanding of the law. They’ll be able to help by protecting you right from the start in your legal documents. By being clear about rights and responsibilities in the beginning, you can avoid legal repercussions.
2 – They can do damage control
Whether you are sued by an employee, a customer, or even another business, you want to minimize the impact. It’s your commercial attorney who is going to be able to do this the most effectively. When you have a commercial lawyer on call, they’ll be able to learn about the details of the case firsthand from you. This is important because he or she will be the one representing you and minimizing the damage that you have to take.
3 – They can ensure your contracts are legally sound
There are plenty of contracts you’ll have to enter into as a business. Before you sign a contract, it’s best that you consult your commercial lawyer. They will be able to understand the legal jargon and will know the repercussions of every contract. This is important as contracts can make or break your business.
If you aren’t a legal professional, chances are you’re going to miss something that could result in serious problems later on. Take, for instance, contracts without dispute clauses. If there isn’t a dispute clause, you could easily find yourself mixed up in a lawsuit. With a dispute clause, you can ask for mediation to fix the issue before it’s taken to court.
Let’s take a look at some of the different contracts that commercial attorneys can help you with
There are quite a number of sales contracts. The most basic are the Bill of Sale, Sales Agreement, Purchase Order or Offer, Warranty, Limited Warranty, and Security Agreement Between Lender and Borrower contracts.
Employment contracts state the responsibilities and expectations of both the employee and the employer. There are quite a number, including the Contract for Employment, Non-Compete Agreement, Independent Contractor, Consultant Agreement, Distributor Agreement, Sales Representative Contract, Confidentiality Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement, Reciprocal Non-Disclosure Agreement, and Agreement for Employment Separation.
Most businesses lease space to operate, which means they’ll often have contracts for Lease for Real Property as well as Equipment Lease.
General Business Contracts
As for general business contracts, you’ll often run into these as your business continues to operate. A few are the Franchise Agreement, Advertising Agency Agreement, Indemnity Agreement, Covenant Not to Sue, Settlement Agreement to End Lawsuit, Release from Liability, Transfer Assignment of Contract, Stock Purchase Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, Partnership Agreement, Joint Venture Agreement, and Agreement to sell Business.
The best way to protect yourself with a contract is to have a legal professional draft and negotiate your contracts for you.
4 – They can help you set up your business
Setting up a business is a lot more complex than you’d think. It isn’t a simple matter of coming up with a great name and paying a registration fee. You’re going to need a legal expert. Chances are all you start off with is a great idea and maybe a company name. Perhaps you’ve got a few buddies starting it with you. You need to determine the type of business you are setting up – a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability corporation, a nonprofit, or a corporation. After you’ve figured that out, you’ll be subject to a whole host of other legal issues such as tax obligations, setup fees, and more.
If you aren’t a legal professional, you’re going to have trouble wading through all the legal jargon and making the best choices for the future of your company. A commercial lawyer is well-versed with legal jargon and will help you manage the documents and decisions as you set up your business.
5 – They will make sure you are operating within the law
The law differs from place to place. This is true in Canada as well. The rules and regulations in Alberta may not be the same as those in Edmonton. This is why it’s best for you to hire a commercial attorney who is well-versed with the laws in your area specifically.
In the case where you are sued or claims are filed against you, you’re going to need legal representations. You may even be investigated. Perhaps it’s a customer or maybe it’s an employee. Whatever it is, a commercial lawyer will fight on behalf of you and your business so you aren’t impacted as severely.
You could learn enough about the law to wade through the technicalities on your own, but it will take you considerable time and effort. This is time and effort that you don’t have if you’re starting your own business. Hire a legal professional and let them do what they’re good at. That way, you’ll be able to do what you’re good at without worrying about accidentally crossing the line of the law.