You will make some of the most important decisions about your business before you even open your doors, when you have the least amount of information. What type of entity should you form? How will you fund the business? What are your long-term goals? What is your exit strategy? Addressing these questions with the guidance of a business attorney can help ensure you give proper consideration to the liability implications, tax consequences, and restrictions on ownership associated with each entity type.
These days, doing business on a handshake is a risky proposition. Any exchange of money or promises should always be memorialized with a written contract for a host of reasons. Reducing an agreement to writing gives the parties an opportunity to work out any miscommunications in advance and helps ensure the contract accurately reflects their intentions. Disputes can often be avoided by a well-written contract to which all parties are equally bound.
You’ve formed your business, had your lawyer draft your documents, and now you turn your attention to actually running the show. How do you get funding? Where do you find clients? What happens if you need to expand your workforce or your facility? How do you keep the train chugging along? Is there someone out there who can keep an eye out for legal trouble while you focus on running the business? Why yes, yes there is.
BUSINESS LAW FAQ'S
Why hire a business lawyer?
Owning a business is a lot like serving as captain of a ship. You are trying to keep the ship on course, barking orders at managing employees, maintaining proper speed, and generally trying to keep from capsizing. Even if you manage to take your hands off the wheel to climb into the bird’s nest, you may not know what trouble looks like and how to avoid it. Engaging the help of an experienced business lawyer is like sending another seasoned captain into the bird’s nest with a telescope. We can often see trouble coming and can help direct you out of harm’s way.
What if I have an idea I’m not sure about?
Nevada has a surprising number of free resources to help you flesh out an idea and see if it’s worth pursuing. NSBDC, SCORE, Nevada Department of Business & Industry, UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship, and many more. Even if you aren’t in Nevada, many states house a Small Business Development Center, and a SCORE office. If you really want to put your idea through the paces, it’s incredibly beneficial to create a business plan.
How does your law firm bill?
We try to be as flexible as possible with our business clients and, unlike most law firms, bill hourly only when absolutely necessary. Why? Because it’s impossible to budget for an hourly rate and, as business owners, all our clients must stick to their budgets. Most of the time, we bill a flat fee per project or a monthly retainer.
When do you bill hourly?
Only when we have no control over the amount of time spent on a particular project, namely when we are negotiating on your behalf.
How long will it take to complete my project?
We typically work on a two-week turnaround, but if other people are involved, it will always take longer than you think. For example, one of our clients wanted to purchase a building. He called us on Wednesday and wanted to open escrow (which required a fully executed purchase agreement) the following Monday. The people involved in that deal included us, our client, the seller, the seller’s attorney, the client’s banker, the escrow officer, the title company, and CPAs on both sides. Each advisor had his/her own set of requirements for the agreement and had to sign off before the client and the seller could sign. It’s wise to involve us as early in the process as possible. Work under pressure is always more expensive.
There are lots of free contracts online; why can’t I just use one of those?
While robots and artificial intelligence have come a long way, online contracts still lack the human evaluation and analysis you get when you hire us. Anytime a client asks a question, even an innocuous one, our lawyer-brains immediately start firing off what-ifs and hypotheticals and analyses that wouldn’t even occur to most people. That’s why law school takes so long – because our way of thinking is reshaped.
Shouldn’t I hire a large firm that’s a one-stop shop?
One of the benefits of hiring a large firm is that they often offer lots of disciplines under one roof. The downside is that such convenience is reflected in the hourly rate. Sure, we are a boutique firm, but we have addressed this challenge by keeping other firms with different specialties on retainer. So, we have the benefit of consulting with those lawyers when necessary without having to ship our clients off to a different firm.
Appointments; Can you come to my office?
We are happy to make office calls. We find that we learn far more about you and your company when we come to you than if you come to us. We get to meet your employees, see your space, understand your processes, and put faces to names. Plus, you’ve got a business to run; it shouldn’t be a hassle to consult with your lawyer.