Hiring a Business Lawyer
Every business needs a competent and skilled accountant and lawyer. The reasons for hiring an accountant are clear. However, the reason for hiring a business attorney may not be so obvious. A good business lawyer will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business from business setup and incorporation, employment matters, and collection matters to lawsuits and liability.
Most small businesses put off hiring a lawyer until a sheriff or private process server is at the door serving the business with a summons. This is not a good idea. The time to connect with a good business lawyer is well before your business is sued. Many times an appropriately worded letter on legal letterhead can be enough to resolve a minor dispute. Once you have been served with a summons, the problem has already occurred and it is a matter of how much it will cost your business in court costs, attorneys’ fees, and other expenses to resolve the problem.
Business owners are often unaware that Maryland law requires a business to be represented by an attorney in court and the business may not represent itself. Some have said that our judicial system is like an insect trap, it is easy to get into court, but often difficult to get out once you have been “trapped.” The fee you pay a lawyer to help you avoid trouble is often much less than the fee you will incur to get you out of trouble. When running your own business, there is a lot to be said for the old adage: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that is especially important in the following areas:
Setting up business organizations. I can help you decide whether a corporation, limited liability company (“LLC”) or some other entity is the better way to organize your business and prepare the necessary documents to be filed with the State of Maryland and federal government to start your business. There are a number of resources out there to help would-be business owners get their new ventures formed and off the ground, but when it comes to expertise you simply cannot beat the value provided by an experienced business lawyer. Even if your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you would do well to seek the services of a business lawyer to help navigate getting your business properly registered.
Contracts. I will work with you to prepare contracts appropriate for your business and help you understand and negotiate contracts that others may want you and your business to sign.
Real estate. Commercial leases are complex and tend to be drafted to benefit the landlord. These leases are negotiable. I can help you understand and negotiate provisions that benefit you and your business. I can also help your business with zoning issues that may arise.
Employment matters. I can help you navigate issues that arise with employees of your business including pay disputes, disciplinary matters, unemployment claims, reasonable accommodations for employees with a disability and more. No business wants to be hit with a charge of discrimination or lawsuit. It’s better to get advice from a lawyer before taking any action. I can also help you draft a handbook of policies and procedures for your business.
Whether you are looking to start or already have a business, Gary W. Desper has the experience and understanding to provide you with the representation you need at a budget you can afford. Call our office today at (410) 876-4646 to learn more about what Gary W. Desper can do to help you and your business.