by Katherine Sparks
If you’re a freelancer, you know that there is always more to do. You wear so many hats each day, it’s a little hard to keep track of them all – you are the boss, a nose-to-the-grindstone employee, the HR manager, the marketing department, a bookkeeper, the “ideas guy” or “ideas gal”, and much more. Because there is so much to do and so much that you are juggling, it can be very tempting to add one more title – head of your own legal department. Admittedly, in the age of online legal forms, it is easier than ever to find legal information and it can be tempting to keep costs down by filling in the blanks and going with whatever you can find online. But before you do, be forewarned! Many of the legal documents you can find online (whether you have to pay for them through a service or not) are not appropriate for your situation, are based on the laws of another state, or are just plain wrong!
Consulting with an attorney can help prevent problems you see coming down the road and can help you plan for the future in ways you might not have thought of otherwise. If you sit down to talk with your business attorney about an Independent Contractor Agreement, that attorney should talk you through the appropriate classifications – they can help you save yourself a lot of trouble with the IRS. When you go in to talk with your attorney about setting up your LLC, they might suggest protecting your clever brand name by filing trademark registrations. And when you come up with your next great idea, your attorney can help you protect it with confidentiality agreements and patent protections if the situation calls for it. Ideally, your business attorney is another important member of your team, helping you to protect your business as it grows and to prevent legal liabilities.
Once you’ve decided to hire an attorney, how do you find a good one? Asking fellow business owners is a good idea, as is keeping your eyes open in your local business community. An internet search can be a good way to start as well, but keep in mind that the top results are not necessarily the best results – they might just be paying more for ads! While you can choose to retain a large well-known firm, you might pay (a lot!) less and get more personalized service from a small firm or a solo practitioner. You do need to feel comfortable with whoever you decide to work with, so feel free to ask questions and find an attorney who fits your needs.
There is no doubt that you are able to wear a lot of hats as you run your business, but save yourself time and money in the long run by consulting with a business law attorney about your legal vulnerabilities and the best ways to protect your business.
Katherine Sparks is a business law attorney at Herbert Legal Group in Roswell, Georgia.
Herbert Legal Group wants to be an integral member of your business team. Nothing splits up a team more than that unexplained, surprise invoice for services clients were not expecting, did not approve of or did not understand. Time-based billing creates a wall of separation between team members which can hamper even the best working relationship.
Herbert Legal Group are business owners just like you and understand the opportunities and challenges of building something lasting and important. We cannot commit to open-ended invoicing from our service providers either. We measure our resources and employ them in a way that creates value for our clients first and our company second. Sound familiar? We treat you the way we want to be treated.
Contact them at http://herbertlegalgroup.com/