Do I Need to Pay for a Lawyer on a Retainer Basis ?

September 6, 2023

Whether or not you need to pay for a lawyer for your business depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of your business, your industry, and your specific legal needs. Here are some situations where you may need legal assistance for your business:

  1. Business Formation: When starting a business, you may need legal help to choose the right business structure (e.g., sole trader, limited company, etc) and to register your business with the appropriate government authorities. For anyone in the UK, registering a company at Companies House may seem a daunting prospect, but it is really is very simple; contact us via this Forum and someone can guide you.
    This will have the advantage of ensuring that you remain in control of your company and don’t have to pay someone for the privilege of accessing your information on Companies House.
    You will also need to register with HMRC, but from my experience, as soon as you register a company, it will trigger a letter from your local tax office. Please make sure you see what they require from you especially with the PAYE which is now done online. (please see one of our other posts on this).
  2. Contract Drafting and Review: If your business enters into contracts with customers, suppliers, employees, or partners, it’s important to have legally sound contracts in place. A lawyer can help draft, review, and negotiate these contracts.
    This is one of the main advantages of being/becoming a member of the FSB. You will have access to a huge number of legal documents which you can pretty much tailor to your needs (contact us if you have any questions). Equally your FSM membership will give you access to legal advice over the telephone at a time of your choice, 365 days of the year.
  3. Intellectual Property Protection: If your business involves intellectual property (such as trademarks, copyrights, or patents), you may need legal assistance to protect your rights and enforce them if necessary.
    However, with all such matters, pursuing a claim will take time and money and you will need to consider whether this is something you can afford.
    On this matter, be aware that trademarks and patents are public domain.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Depending on your industry, you may need to comply with various local and national regulations. A lawyer can help ensure your business remains compliant.
  5. Employment Issues: If you have employees, you may need legal guidance on employment contracts, labour laws, discrimination issues, and other employment-related matters.
    Again this is where the FSB can help with their documents and legal help.
  6. Taxation: A business /tax lawyer can provide advice on tax planning, deductions, credits, and ensure that your business complies with tax laws if this is something that your accountant is not able to cover.
  7. Dispute Resolution: In the event of disputes or legal claims involving your business, a lawyer can represent your interests, negotiate settlements, or provide litigation support.
  8. Mergers and Acquisitions: If you’re buying or selling a business, merging with another company, or going through significant corporate changes, a lawyer can guide you through the process.
  9. Exit Strategy: When you’re ready to sell or close your business, a lawyer can help with the legal aspects of the exit strategy, including asset sales, dissolution, or transferring ownership.
  10. General Legal Advice: Having access to legal advice for general business advice and guidance can be valuable for making informed decisions and avoiding legal pitfalls; this will be free with your annual FSB membership.
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