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Tobin O'Conner & Ewing Practicality in Practice
  • ~ Washington DC Business Law Attorneys ~

How a Business Law Attorney Can Help You Prevent Business Litigation

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Many small business owners only contact a lawyer when they have a big problem.  A former client or former employee is threatening to sue the company, a bigger company is giving you the choice of letting it buy you out for a paltry sum or else putting you out of business through heavy-handed competition, or the business is facing insurmountable debts and will need to close, and the owner is trying to find the least devastating way to do it.  A business law attorney can certainly help you in these situations, but working with a lawyer from the beginning can help many entrepreneurs avoid getting into these stressful situations in the first place.  These are some common situations where a Washington DC small business lawyer can help you when you are not faced with a potentially ruinous situation.

Choosing an Entity Type

The choice of an entity type, also known as a business structure, is one of the most important decisions you will make for the future of your business, but too many aspiring entrepreneurs just check a business structure box on the employer identification number (EIN) application form without giving it much thought.  In fact, your choice of entity type will affect your business taxes, your relationship to your business partners, and even how the closing of the business will affect you financially.

Business Contracts

Contacting a lawyer when you get into a dispute over contractual obligations is a good idea, but it is even better to contact a lawyer before you agree to those contractual obligations in the first place.  The best business contracts go through several drafts, because both parties’ attorneys have reviewed drafts of the contract and recommended changes.  This way, all parties enter into the agreement with a clear understanding of their rights and obligations.

Confidentiality Issues

The success of your business depends, in large part, on what messages you communicate to the public, but it also depends on the messages you do not communicate.  Trade secrets and other privileged information form an important part of the inner workings of your company.  Many business disputes arise when a former member of the company shares or wishes to share information to which he or she was party when working with the business.  Discussing matters with a lawyer before you sign a contract that involves confidentiality is a wise move, as is meeting with a lawyer before setting up a new company that is similar enough to your former employer that they might accuse you of misusing confidential information.

Employment Disputes

Lawsuits between former employees and the companies for which they worked are stressful and expensive.  Airtight and transparent business contracts can prevent many of these disputes.  If you are having difficulty meeting your contractual obligations, working with a lawyer to find a solution early on could enable you to avoid financially and emotionally draining litigation.

Let Us Help You Today

Working with the Washington DC small business lawyers at our office can help you cover all your bases in order to avoid disputes with employees, vendors, and partners over contractual obligations. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for a consultation.

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