The Two Most Surprising Reasons You Might Need a Business Law Attorney

Aug 4, 2017 | Firm News

You might not know how useful business law attorneys can be until you find yourself stuck in a legal problem.

You’ve got a business to run, so the last thing you want to do is deal with business law attorneys. They can get you bogged down in all the rules, laws and regulatory red tape. On the one hand, this means you might want to avoid a business attorney as much as possible, right? But they can be a much bigger help than you think.

With the right business law attorney, you can avoid greater problems in the future. The following reasons represent two such examples:

 To Tell You What You Don’t Know

The single biggest reason why you need a business law attorney is to inform you of potential issues or problems you may not know exist. Problems you are aware of are fairly easy to handle. You can see the problem coming well in advance and take steps to deal with it or avoid it.

For example, you might be about to enter into a business transaction with a business partner who has trouble paying his bills. So in anticipation of future problems with your accounts receivable, you have your business law attorney draft special provisions in your contract to deal with this risk, such as requiring full payment up front.

But if you’re not aware of certain potential issues, you can’t take the necessary steps to protect yourself and avoid a major headache later. To illustrate, imagine you’re going to sell some large, expensive machinery to another business. Like in the previous example, you’re aware this business sometimes has trouble paying its bills. You know you’ll have to take steps to protect yourself against a possible default or late payment, such as asking for full payment in advance. But sometimes this isn’t a realistic expectation, especially for transactions with large amounts of money. You might initially think you can use the business’s other property as collateral for its debt to you.

In theory, you’d be correct, but in practice, this is a very dangerous assumption. You’d need first to identify if any other creditors have used the business’s property as collateral. If so, your security interest in that property will probably be meaningless. This is because the other creditors have a higher priority or are “in front of the line” when it comes to using the other property as collateral. So if that other business goes into default, other creditors will have first access to the collateral to have its debts paid. Only if there is money left over will you be able to collect, and during a default or bankruptcy, this is going to be very unlikely.

With a business law attorney by your side, he or she can help identify these potential problems and advise you on steps to avoid losing a lot of money on a business transaction.

To Represent Your Business in Court

For individuals, an attorney is not legally required to argue a case in court. If the person wants to proceed “pro se,” or without a lawyer, they can choose to do so. It may not be a smart decision, but it’s allowable. However, in some states and some types of lawsuits, a business must have an attorney representing it in court. An officer or owner of the business may not appear in court on behalf of the company.

Schedule your complimentary consultation with our legal team at the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. about business law attorneys by calling (706) 335-2355 now.