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Your relationship with an attorney

Many businesses seem to view an attorney in the same light as a firefighter; glad they are available, but they would rather not need them. If you can successfully run your business without availing yourself of the services of an attorney, that may be fortunate, but it may only be a testament to your good luck.

While you certainly can limit your work with attorneys to times when you smell smoke and there are flames licking at your door, there are good reasons to develop a longstanding relationship with an attorney for your business.

There are dozens of potential legal issues you may encounter every day. From the appropriateness of your contracts, your compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws to your correct interpretation of the zoning regulations that are applicable to your buildings.

Your business may not be able to afford in-house counsel, but by having regular meetings with your attorney throughout the year to review various aspects of your business operations, your attorney learns about the goals you have for the business. They also gain expertise into matters you encounter on a regular basis, which means they can provide faster and more accurate advice when you ask.

They can also provide more in-depth guidance on business planning and with formative issues, such as whether you should change your businesses organizational format or make alterations to your bylaws, partnership agreement or member agreement.

Legal problems are almost always easier and less expensive to solve at the first whiff of trouble. If they are dealt with by skillful planning and avoided altogether, your business benefits are even greater.

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