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Small Business Advice: The Importance of Having a Legal Advocate

January 28, 2015

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners

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As the attorney finished her speech on legal pitfalls to avoid as women entrepreneurs, I was reminded how essential it is to retain a lawyer to act as your adviser and advocate. Gone are the days when a business owner hires an attorney only after a major problem occurs. Now smart entrepreneurs contract with lawyers to advise them before a situation arises. According to today’s speaker Lorraine Mertell of Mackenzie Hughes LLP, the legal industry has become more customer service focused and that’s great for people and especially entrepreneurs.

I walked away from the program realizing I don’t know as much as I should about ways to protect my company, my brand and myself. If a twenty minute presentation can resonate so strongly with an audience of similar women, I hope today’s business advice reverberates with you.

Did you know it’s important every time you sign documents to sign them as the President of your corporation and never as an individual? Have you thought about adding a clause in your business contracts to cover attorney fees by customers if you are ever brought to court? Do you know you can save thousands of dollars on small claims court by having your attorney try to solve your problem out of court with an official letter?

Just like we know our own industry’s trade secrets and strategies, a personal attorney has valuable knowledge to counsel and protect us in a society that loves taking legal action. If you don’t have a corporate attorney or haven’t spoken with your lawyer yet this year, now is the time. Having a corporate attorney to guide and protect you and your business is not only wise, it’s a stress reliever.

Today’s post is to encourage you to take a look at areas in your business where you could use legal guidance. It could involve obtaining a trademark, reviewing your business contracts, providing the right legal terminology on your website, or incorporating your business. It’s important to protect yourself now before anything demands legal attention. If you don’t know where to find a trusted attorney, ask your friends or business associates who they trust and set up an appointment with a few lawyers before choosing one. We also have a list of legal counsel in our Women TIES directory.

I hope from now on when you think of the value of having an attorney you consider them to be both an advocate and adviser that you must have on your business team.

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