…if you get sued, apparently! Or isn't it so?
This notion up here is what many of us believe either consciously or otherwise. This was also reinforced by the movies we saw.
We are here today however, to oppose this motion that says you only need a lawyer when you want to get away with murder (tongue in cheek). Therefore, dear incorruptible panel of judges and our amiable audience, here are our points.
You need a lawyer if:
- You are starting a business or already running a business. As an entrepreneur that is concerned about the survival and profitability of your business, having a lawyer is key. For matters ranging from company formation, drafting agreements, registration of intellectual property to equity transfer, you need a lawyer so you don't enter "bad market".
- You intend on raising funds from investors to finance your company. An investor will typically conduct due diligence on your company and request for a myriad of essential documents before an agreement is reached and your lawyer will ensure all documents are well drafted, complete, and accurate to make you investment ready. Your lawyer will also help you understand the impact the (debt or equity) investment agreement will have on other the company's obligations and existing contracts with investors.
- You have employees or contractors working with and for you. In running your business, you will need to hire people. Your employees and freelancers will need to have an employment or consultancy contract that will guide the scope of their work, their rights and restrictions. This would also contain confidentiality, intellectual property assignment and non-compete clauses to protect your business. It would also regulate how both parties will terminate the contract. Who should do this for you? Your lawyer.
- You need to protect your intellectual property. Legally protecting intellectual property cannot be overemphasized. In this digital world, you must ensure that your ideas, brand identifiers (logo, name etc.) are protected.
Who will help you with this? Your lawyer of course! Your lawyer will advise on the appropriate intellectual property registration you need i.e. whether copyright, trademark, industrial design or patent. He/she will also advise you on ensuring that your employees and consultants execute an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement, which would ensure that any intellectual property developed for your company, during the course of their employment belongs to your company and not the employees or consultants.
- Your landlord asks you to vacate the office premises within a week. That sounds like a Nollywood movie, right? Well, you will need a lawyer for incidents that call for legal actions or reactions.
Your lawyer should be involved in all the negotiations before you rent or lease a property or in major acquisition endeavours.
We know that you are then asking - "how do I get a good lawyer"? Well, we have answered that question here.
You can get a lawyer that suits your business needs via our Engage platform which is a repository of verified and highly competent lawyers. Dig in and find your own Harvey Specter and Annalise Keating.