What A Houston Business Lawyer Can Do For You
The word “lawyer” might imply someone you only turn to in times of legal trouble. Yet, the reality is that working with one from the onset can help you avoid potential dilemmas in the first place.
This is especially true in the corporate sphere. This sector involves rules and regulations with opportunity at every corner for liability concern.
Between balancing employees, resource, and client expectations, your workload is already heavy enough. Tackling all the legalities that come with running a business shouldn’t fall squarely on your shoulders.
There are many ways in which hiring a Houston business lawyer can benefit you and your company today.
If you’re in need of such services, you’re in luck. As a whole, Texas has one of the highest attorney populations in the nation, and this number continues to grow each year. Read on to see how a Houston business lawyer can help you today!
1. Get Your Small Business Off the Ground
If you’re looking to start a small business, chances are you’re pretty passionate about your product or service.
Something you might not be as passionate about? Deep diving into all the legal contracts and federal forms you’ll likely encounter as you begin setting up shop.
Should you form a partnership? Sole proprietorship? What about an LLC? Making the right decisions in the beginning can help ensure your small business is set up for success. It can also help you avoid costly and time-consuming rework in the future.
This is where a Houston business lawyer comes in. A business lawyer will help you navigate this new and unfamiliar territory so you can get your business up and running.
For instance, he or she can explain which business structures carry certain liabilities, and which tax requirements you’ll need to follow with each. Then, when you’re ready, you can work together to fill out and file the proper paperwork.
As you grow in your business, a Houston business lawyer can also help you maintain your operability through corporate governance. This process ensures shareholder, director, and officer actions align with state and federal regulations.
2. Demystify That Complicated Contract
Regardless of size, businesses regularly make agreements and form relationships, and often, these are accompanied by legally binding contracts.
Before you sign on the dotted line, consider hiring a Houston business lawyer first. Business lawyers can help you decipher the contract and sort through all the clauses, even ones in fine print, in complicated language, on the very last page. As experts in “legalese” they can point out areas of concern and liability as well as places that could benefit from more clarification. A business lawyer can also help you determine if any additional contract clauses, such as a dispute clause, should be entered.
These steps and more can help you avoid any potential pitfalls as you enter into new agreements. In this case, a Houston business lawyer is more than just a second set of eyes on your contract. It’s an investment in the security and integrity of the agreement for the near and long-term.
3. Create and Implement Employee Policies
From discrimination to FMLA implementation, there are scores of regulations around employee rights. Adhering to them is absolutely critical to an employer.
Yet, before you can even begin to ensure you’re following all the proper protocols when it comes to your team, you have to hire it first. Even this step can benefit from legal counsel.
Whether you intend to hire full-time, part-time or independent contractor employees, each option comes with its own set of personnel policies, both state-based and federal.
A Houston business lawyer can help you determine which hiring structure is the best fit for your company. He or she will then work with you to complete the required files (such as a Contractor Agreements) and help develop the legal structure and policies.
On the other side of the coin, if you’re in the position of firing an employee, legal counsel is invaluable. A business lawyer can help you protect yourself and your company against any sort of backfire, such as a wrongful termination lawsuit.
4. Secure Your Intellectual Property
It’s true that tangible assets, such as workstations and office furniture, are your company property. But what about intangible assets?
Known as intellectual property, these resources are those that you can’t physically touch. Yet, they are still integral to the identity and legal integrity of your business.
Examples of intellectual property include your logo, tagline, brand name, and any trademark designs, processes or solutions. To help protect these items from infringement, your lawyer can work with you to complete and submit all required legal forms to secure them.
Offices set up to protect intellectual property include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office. Each comes with its own set of guidelines and documents to complete, and a Houston business lawyer can guide you every step of the way.
5. Navigate Tricky Environmental Issues
If your company disrupts the natural world (sea, land, or air), you must follow EPA regulations to ensure you’re operating within legal bounds. From the Clean Water Act to the Endangered Species Act, there are myriad restrictions and requirements designed to preserve natural resources and promote a clean environment.
These include securing the proper permits for your work zone and following mandated dispensing and distribution guidelines, all of which a Houston business lawyer can help you work through and complete.
Even if your business doesn’t fall into a naturally hazardous category, there’s a good chance may encounter these laws as you navigate partnerships, acquire new property, or expand your offerings. Having a legal ear to bend can help you avoid litigation ensure asset protection in cases like these.
Getting Started: The Houston Business Lawyer You Need
No matter where you fall on your corporate journey, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, there are plenty of benefits to be found by hiring a Houston business lawyer.