There is a common misconception that small businesses don’t need an attorney; that there are not enough legal-related matters going on for a business lawyer to see to. If there are matters for which a business owner needs legal advice, they can just consult an attorney or a fellow entrepreneur who has encountered the same issue before.
In truth, small businesses need business attorneys as much as big enterprises. SMBs generate 39 percent of the country’s GNP, account for 44 percent of its economic activity, and employ 47.1 percent of the US workforce so these businesses’ contributions to the economy cannot be ignored. But even just on the micro-level, small businesses also deserve to benefit from the services that business attorneys offer.
Here are examples of matters with which business attorneys can help SMBs.
Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Businesses that offer intangible products and services need to protect their assets from false ownership claims. It also pays to have your intellectual ideas, concepts, and designs patented so that there’s no danger of your hard work being claimed by larger and more aggressive players in your industry.
Small businesses need intellectual property protection for their products as well as their brand. Business and product names, logos, slogans, and other marketable elements that define their business — all these may be patented, copyrighted, and trademarked to protect the business’s identity and give it exclusive rights to reproduce, sell, and develop new products from their original creations.
Business lawyers can help SMBs put together the necessary paperwork to apply for patents and copyrights and trademark words, logos, symbols, and other devices that identify a brand. Intellectual property law is complex, plus there are authorities that must be consulted to prove the credibility of an application. Experienced business owners will know what to do to protect a small business’s intellectual property.
Employee Contracts and Agreements
Many small businesses hire employees with standard employee contracts. Once the business grows and the roles in the organization become more complex, however, it would be wise to draft more detailed employee contracts as well as non-compete clauses, non-disclosure agreements, and the like. These contracts are necessary for extremely competitive industries and employment sectors with high voluntary employee turnover rates. Small business attorneys will be very helpful in writing contracts that protect both the business and its employees.
Legal Charges Against Harmful Detractors
SMBs benefit from online reviews, but when online commenters and detractors cross a line, it’s worth exploring legal options like defamation or libel charges. Owners will need the services of a business attorney for this. It’s understandable for people to be apprehensive about the legal costs, but loud detractors can also inflict lasting damage to a business. This is something small business owners need to weigh as well.
Hire Our Experienced Small Business Attorneys in Indiana
Taylor Chadd Minnette Schneider & Clutter PC has a long and broad experience with business law. We provide legal advice and other services to small businesses. Apart from the matters discussed above, we also help with buying, selling, and setting up a business, transitioning to a partnership or limited liability companies, business taxes, employment issues, real estate transactions, and more.
You’re giving your business a big advantage by consulting business attorneys on areas where their input can help you make the best decisions. Contact us and claim a free consultation today.