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When to Call an Attorney in the Age of Google

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners will spend hours scouring Google, Nolo and Findlaw trying to address their legal issue on their own rather than picking up the phone and contacting their attorney. Sometimes the legal issues are straightforward and Google might send the individual to the site with the correct answer. Other times the business owner finds themselves lost in a table of conflicting articles, blogs and statutes that are difficult to understand and forms that contain a lot of legal boilerplate that they do not fully understand. It’s at that point, that smart business owners decide it’s time to call an Attorney.

If your small business is contemplating any of the following, it’s time to contact an attorney that specializes in representing small businesses:

  • Buying or selling a business or significant assets of a business
  • Drafting a partnership or an LLC Agreement
  • Franchise Agreement
  • Buy/Sell Agreement between Members or Partners of a Company
  • Entering into a Commercial Lease
  • Adding a Member, Partner or an Investor
  • Hiring an Independent Contractor
  • Non-Compete or Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Creating form contracts to be used on a regular basis with customers or vendors
  • Dissolving or ending a business

If you are budget conscience and want to get the advantage of having an attorney drafted agreement without incurring unnecessary costs, it is often helpful if the client brings in a term sheet with the important aspects of the transaction.

But, most importantly – if you are going to seek the guidance of an attorney do it BEFORE you execute the agreement. You would be surprised how many times clients bring already executed purchase and sale, Lease Agreement, or buy/sell agreements to a consultation and ask us “Is this ok.” After the agreement is executed is a difficult time to negotiate a transaction. If a prospective agreement or transaction makes you uncomfortable, it’s always best to consult with the attorney before you execute it.

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