Although the word lawyer conjures up a myriad of stereotypes that have persisted over the decades, the truth is that there are many types of lawyers who practice in different areas with varying skill sets. While some specialize in prosecuting or defending criminals, others advocate for environmental issues or civil rights. In addition, many lawyers go through their entire careers without ever entering a courtroom.
A business lawyer, on the other hand, takes care of the legal issues involved in operating a business. Whether it’s a startup or an established company, a business lawyer can be very helpful for almost every aspect of running a business.
What Kinds of Issues Do Business Lawyers Handle?
Generally, business lawyers make sure that companies are in compliance with applicable business regulations and that company operations adhere to legal guidelines.
The types of legal issues that business lawyers handle on a regular basis include the following:
Founding a Business – A business lawyer can help with important decisions when starting a business such as whether to incorporate as an LLC, an S Corp, or a different type of business.
Drawing Up Contracts – It is important to know which forms are appropriate for new hires or what guidelines to use with a new client. For example, do they need to sign any type of waiver? A business attorney can help draft the right contracts and the right forms for your business needs.
Breach of Contract and Contract Disputes – If a client stops paying or the terms of a contract are disputed, a business lawyer can negotiate on your behalf or file a lawsuit if necessary.
Compliance and Risk Management – Whether your business is brand new, or it has a long history, it can always benefit from a lawyer who can assist with compliance issues in addition to putting in place systems to monitor and mitigate risk.
Real Estate – Regardless of whether your business leases or owns property, a business lawyer can be instrumental in vetting and negotiating commercial leases, which often involve complex real estate and tenant laws.
What Is the Difference Between a Corporate Lawyer and a Business Lawyer?
Understandably, this question comes up quite a bit when businesses are looking to hire a lawyer. Corporate law, for its part, centers around the legal issues governing the sale and distribution of goods while business law focuses on the legal aspects involved in the formation of companies not to mention acquisitions, mergers, and the rights of shareholders. Consequently, business law comprises areas such as contracts and agreements, taxes, and commercial litigation. Generally, companies need the help of lawyers who are skilled in both areas.
Do Business Lawyers Handle Employment Law Issues?
It is helpful to know that business attorneys do not deal with the same legal matters as employment lawyers. Business attorneys are primarily concerned with the structure of a business and how it operates. Employment lawyers, however, handle matters such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and employment contract disputes.
The central role of a business lawyer involves giving advice and other legal assistance that helps with the running of a business. Regardless of how well-prepared and well-intentioned a business owner is, he or she may still run into legal difficulties. An experienced business lawyer can educate business owners about the law and best practices and represent them should the need arise.