Legal Blogs

I Just Started My Business. How Can I Afford a Business Attorney?

Irvine business litigation attorneysStarting your own business is a time and resource intensive undertaking. It can also be extremely rewarding once the business is up and running smoothly. From the moment you envision becoming an entrepreneur, you need solid legal advice and guidance. For a large established business, that advice and guidance come from an attorney who acts as the company’s General Counsel. For a small to medium size business, or one that is still in the establishment phase, hiring an attorney to act as General Counsel may not be realistic, nor necessary for that matter. The Irvine business litigation attorneys at Brown & Charbonneau explain how your business may be able to benefit from General Counsel services for small to medium businesses.

What Does a General Counsel Do?

Historically, even large corporations only used an “in-house” attorney for the day to day, administrative legal work of the company. For major contracts, litigation, and negotiations, companies typically hired outside counsel. Toward the end of the 20th century, however, a shift occurred that resulted in the position of General Counsel becoming much more important. Today, the General Counsel at a company often does everything from advising the Board of Directors to oversee the litigation of major lawsuits. With that shift in responsibilities came a corresponding shift in salary. It is not uncommon these days for the position of General Counsel to be among the highest paid positions in a corporation. For a Fortune 500 company, paying such a high salary may not be a problem; however, for smaller companies with less revenue, it is usually impossible.

Why Might My Business Need General Counsel Services?

If you are just starting a company, or your business falls into the small to medium size category, you may wonder why you would even need to type of services provided by a General Counsel. As anyone who has built a successful business can tell you, there is no substitute for skilled legal advice and guidance during the start-up phase of a business endeavor. Choosing the wrong type of business entity for your business or failing to execute and file all the necessary documents can be fatal mistakes for a fledgling business. Once the business is established, you will undoubtedly need an experienced attorney to help you create and review contracts to limit the likelihood of litigation down the road. If your company’s products or services involve intellectual property, it is crucial that you properly protect that property by securing a copyright, trademark, or patent and monitoring it for violations. As your business grows, you will also need to ensure that you remain in compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. In short, there is virtually no end to the General Counsel services your company could benefit from even if it is a small or medium size company.

Alternatives to Hiring a General Counsel

If you thought your business couldn’t afford the services of a General Counsel, you may need to rethink that assumption. Another interesting trend has emerged in recent years that benefits smaller companies. Knowing that small to medium sized businesses cannot usually pay the salary of an in-house General Counsel attorney, some business attorneys have started to offer General Counsel service packages. In essence, this allows a business to benefit from the vast knowledge and experience typically provided by a General Counsel without having to pay the exorbitant salary. It works by selecting the specific services your business needs and only paying for those services. Packages are often tailored to the unique needs of the business instead of providing broad (and often unnecessary) services. This symbiotic relationship allows new and emerging businesses to benefit from once unattainable General Counsel services as well.

Contact Irvine Business Litigation Attorneys

If you have additional questions or concerns about General Counsel services for small to medium-sized businesses, contact the experienced Irvine business litigation attorneys at Brown & Charbonneau for more information or to discuss the needs of your business. Contact the team today by calling 714-406-4397 to schedule your appointment.