All companies, large and small, should establish and maintain a good working relationship with a business attorney or law firm in addition to other professionals. Even for small businesses, today’s business waters are far too murky to navigate without solid legal help for long. The cost may not be cheap, but over time it will be less expensive than the alternative. Business legal costs can and should be managed effectively through a combination of investing in the relationship, creating templates, and knowing when to seek legal help.
If you have not established this relationship yet, you will, and the opportunity (or dreadful day, depending on your point of view) may first come when your largest customer, whose payment for the latest shipment (and the few before that) is past due, won’t return your phone calls, or when a regulatory agency comes calling. Doesn’t it make sense to establish the relationship now, before the crisis, in order to begin proactively avoiding potential legal problems? If you invest some time and energy finding the right provider, you will benefit from obtaining periodic advice and counsel from someone you have taken the time to educate about your business and philosophy, and with whom you are comfortable personally. Use legal help judiciously, but use it.
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