As a small business lawyer in Knoxville, TN knows, every business needs two professionals early on—an accountant and a lawyer. The accountant is very obvious; you need someone who is good at record-keeping to track your numbers, review your chart of accounts and prepare your federal, state, and local tax returns. But you may be wondering why we’re suggesting a lawyer.
Carpenter & Lewis PLLC suggests hiring a small business lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee early in your business, because your lawyer will provide assistance in almost every aspect of your business. From zoning compliance and laws to copyright and trademark advice, to more formal business matters such as incorporation and liability.
You want to hire a lawyer to help with your business before you are being sued; if you’re being sued, it is absolutely too late to do so. This is because you’ve been served a summons and a complaint, and the problem has happened. You’ll have to go through with court, pay in court costs, fees, settlements, and more expenses because you did not hire a lawyer who had an extensive knowledge of business law and business practices to help prevent these issues from happening in the first place.
You want a lawyer that has extensive experience, and a focus on business law, such as the ones available at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC. There are a few different types of lawyers that you may encounter when hiring for your business, and sometimes lawyers do everything we’re about to tell you, so never think you need multiple lawyers if you don’t want multiple lawyers.
Some lawyers deal in contracts, which is important because you are going to have a lot of them. From dealing with customers, vendors, and clients, you’ll need to present legally flawless contracts that these people can sign when working with you, and they’ll be doing the same to you. It’s a great idea to have a lawyer who understands contracts help you walk through any contract you are considering signing.
Business organizations such as corporations and limited liability companies are different ways to identify your business on a federal level and this can affect how you’re taxed, so you want a lawyer that can help you choose the best choice for what you’re aiming to do.
Furthermore, a good small business lawyer in Knoxville, TN can help you with real estate. From leasing commercial space, like office space and retail stores, to apartments and other such leasable properties. Your lawyer would be able to draft a tenant’s addendum that could be your set standard for taking in tenants so that you have a similar process for everyone you deal with. This can save you a hassle.
A good Knoxville, Tennessee small business lawyer is also going to be aware of taxes and licenses though this does not mean a lawyer should file your taxes. It does mean they can help register your business for federal taxes and state tax identification numbers, though, and they’ll know the consequences of doing that wrong.,
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Small Business
During the formation of a small business, it can be easy to think that there are other, more important things than working with a lawyer. Sure, you want to make sure you have a solid marketing strategy, you want to make sure you have a team of employees you can count on, and you want to know that the space where your business is held is the ideal fit and location. That said, a lawyer can help with all of this, from making sure you have the right business location to ensuring you are taking care of your employees.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property
When it comes to protecting your business, a lawyer can ensure your intellectual property is kept safe. You may have a certain branding, a logo, or a slogan for your business that is unique to you. When this is the case, you want to know that someone else is not going to steal it. Your lawyer can help you to copyright your intellectual property so that if someone does attempt to steal it, you will have the law on your side. You may also want to protect things like:
Getting Help with Employees
Your lawyer can also help when you need to expand your business and add employees. Especially if you have never had employees before, you want to know that you have everything in place for things like non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, and employee contracts. By having your lawyer help with employees, you are ensuring you have everything in place to help them and safeguard your business. You can also work with your lawyer to draft a benefits program, especially as states have specific laws regarding when an employer must create a benefits program.
Deciding Whether You Need a Lawyer
For those who are starting up their small business, one question that may be at the front of their minds is this: do I need a lawyer? Although many people starting up a business know that they and their business would benefit from having a lawyer, it is not always feasible or they may not see all of the benefits. However, you may quickly find out that working with a small business lawyer is worth it because you may run into a few problems getting started, you may have contract disputes, or you may get into arguments with your business partner. If you are considering working with a lawyer for your business, it is good to understand how they can help protect your business and make it thrive.
Does a small business really need a lawyer?
Many people believe that as they are just starting out and navigating the waters of being a small business owner that they will not need a lawyer. Surely, a lawyer is for businesses that are much larger or that have recurring legal problems, right? Not necessarily. In the business world, one of the best things you can do is to be prepared for anything that might happen. When you are wondering if a small business lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee can help you, know that they can:
1. Help reduce risk. When you are in a business of any kind, it will expose you to certain risks. Your lawyer can help to examine any risks you already have and risks that could come up in the future and help you create a plan to minimize these risks.
2. Help ensure you are compliant. Whether it is with local, state, or national regulations, your lawyer will ensure you are taking every necessary step to comply with laws. If you do not, you could face massive fines or even face your business being shut down.
3. Help with employees, partners, and clients. When it comes to businesses, the heart of many businesses is the agreements they make with different parties. Your lawyer will work to ensure you are standing by your end of the agreement and will hold those who are not liable.
Whether you are just getting started or have had your business up and running for a year, working with a lawyer sooner rather than later can only benefit you and your business. Reach out to our team now if you would like to learn more about how we can help you thrive.
Working with Clients
When you work with us, your lawyer will also be there to help you when you need to draft agreements with other businesses and when things may go awry. We can look through every contract, try to help when there are disagreements, and defend your business when someone has gone against a contract. You will find that there are less likely to be problems with contracts when you have had a lawyer draft one for you and look over the details before you sign it.
Don’t hesitate to call our office when you need help starting your small business. We are here to get your company off the ground and be there for you when you are dealing with legal difficulties.
What kinds of things can you help me with?
One of the first things we can help you with is establishing different types of contracts that your business will inevitably need. Some of these contracts are:
You want to make sure every contract you have for your business is reviewed and approved by your small business lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee because this will ensure you are not leaving yourself open to possible litigation in the future.
Can you help me with licenses and permits?
Absolutely. Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need help getting set up with different permits or licenses. Different types of businesses, like food and restaurants, transportation, and broadcasting will require different permits or licensing and we can help ensure you have everything you need and are abiding by local laws and regulations. It can be confusing to know exactly which licenses and permits you may need and the process for applying for them can be exhaustive and time-consuming. You can have peace of mind knowing your lawyer is taking care of that for you.
Your business lawyer can also inform you of zoning laws and what is right for your type of business. Many people do not realize when they are starting out that certain businesses cannot be located in certain areas (like near a school or religious organization).
Call Our Office to Help You with Your Small Business!
If you would like help getting your business started and help to ensure you are prepared for the legal aspect of your small business, call Carpenter & Lewis, PLLC now. Our Knoxville, Tennessee small business lawyer is here to help.
Call Carpenter & Lewis PLLC today to speak with a small business lawyer in Knoxville, TN.
“We own several businesses and have had the pleasure of working with Stephen and his team for over 9 years now. He always comes through in a pinch. They have assisted us with leases, estate planning, company formations and even landlord issues. I highly recommend them for all your business attorney needs!”
Mary Ellen Nichols