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Why Your Business Needs an Attorney

Aug 28, 2008
All companies require contracts to conduct business with customers, suppliers, vendors, landlords, etc. Making sure these are drawn up correctly right from the beginning can save time and money later on, and help reduce the chance of the entrepreneur and his company being involved in litigation. On the other side of the coin, you need an attorney to review contracts you are being asked to sign, to make sure your interests are protected.

Legal Compliance is another critical area where having a highly skilled attorney is important. If you will be out raising capital for your venture, you must make sure every step you take, and all the documents you prepare for prospective investors, are in compliance with the myriad of Federal and State securities laws.

Your attorney's role when you are raising capital will not be limited to insuring compliance, however. Your attorney will get involved in helping you structure the transaction and conducting the negotiations. Choose an attorney who has a number of years experience with the venture capital process, and knows everything that needs to be included in the documents you will be signing at closing. Putting a deal together with angel investors or venture capitalists is not quite as straightforward as getting a bank loan, for example. It requires an attorney with both experience and creativity, with the ability to look into the future, and anticipate what could go wrong with a deal, and then write the closing documents with language that mitigates the chance of these problems occurring. You attorney will be able to help you decide whether the terms proposed by prospective investors are fair.

An attorney can be valuable in a networking capacity as well. He or she may have contacts with venture capital firms, for example, or lenders, and could make an introduction on your behalf.

Ask other professionals you work with, such as your accountant, to recommend several law firms to you. And take the time to interview more than one, so you can compare their capabilities and experience, and determine if you and the attorney will be able to develop rapport.

When planning your company, make sure you allocate the funds you will need to retain top flight legal counsel. Legal advice is one area where it never pays for an entrepreneur to economize.

Don't wait until the last minute to hire an attorney. The more familiar they are with your company the more focused their advice can be and the better prepared you'll be.
About the Author
Dee Power is the author of several nonfiction books. Find out more about how a professional can assist your company at and other resources for entrepreneurs Dee blogs about finance and business.
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