The primary role of a business attorney involves providing advice and other legal services that affect various aspects of a business. In general, business attorneys ensure that companies are in compliance with various business regulations and that all operations in a company are aboveboard. Business attorneys typically assist with matters, such as conflict resolution, corporate law issues, business formation, compliance, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and many other types of legal issues that come up when running a business. One important thing to keep in mind about business attorneys is that they do not specialize in handling the same legal issues as employment lawyers. Remember, business attorneys are concerned with business operations and the overall structure of a business. Employment, lawyers, on the other hand, deals with issues like employment discrimination and employment contract disputes.
Types of Cases Business Attorneys Handle
Generally speaking, business attorneys typically possess a broad range of skills and are thus equipped to handle various types of business-related matters. Some examples of common legal issues that business attorneys may encounter on a daily basis include:
• Business and/or contract disputes;
• Real estate or business property issues;
• Registration of intellectual property (e.g., copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc.);
• Improper use of protected data (e.g., privacy matters, security breaches, information governance, etc.);
• Conflicts in connection with the sale and purchase of companies, stocks, securities, and so forth;
• Compliance with business regulations and other relevant laws;
• Registration of business structure, federal and state tax identification numbers, and necessary licenses; and/or
• Interstate and international business issues (e.g., transportation of goods, etc.).
As is evident from the above list, business attorneys can provide a whole host of legal services. Depending on the issue, this may entail performing tasks that are transactional in nature, such as drafting contracts and preparing business tax filings, or those involving case-based work like representing a client in court or negotiating terms to reach a settlement agreement.
Some other less common issues that a business attorney may handle include:
• Transferring ownership or shares in a company;
• Overseeing the “wind-up” process (i.e., the procedures required to dissolve a company);
• Helping a company to adjust to certain changes in the law or new ownership;
• Assisting in changing the structure of a company (e.g., going from an LLC to filing as a C corporation); and/or
• Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating miscellaneous business contracts.
Many of the aforementioned issues and tasks that business attorneys handle on a daily basis may also depend on the size of the business and its industry. For instance, a small business attorney may be hired to handle every aspect of a small business or startup company. This may include anything from structuring the company to reviewing compliance issues on a regular basis. On the other hand, business attorneys who work for large corporations may specialize in certain areas of the business. For instance, there may be an entire in-house team of legal professionals who only handle compliance matters, or the corporation may choose to only hire outside counsel for litigation purposes. Finally, business attorneys’ wide range of knowledge concerning legal issues that affect businesses, may also make them a good candidate to serve as an expert in a lawsuit. For example, if the court or a party needs more information about a particular type of business practice, an experienced business attorney can be hired and consulted as an expert witness.
Major Types of International Business
Some of the major types of international business are:
• Exports/Imports of merchandise, or of services;
• Licensing (to use intellectual property, such as a patent);
• Partnerships and Joint Ventures (the joining of two or more companies);
• Foreign direct investment (a company bases operations in a foreign country to save money); and
A company that is doing business in a foreign country should take note of many business-related issues. They should be aware of that foreign country’s:
• Economic policy;
• Political structure;
• Environmental standards;
• Labor standards; and
• Legal structure/laws.
As stated above, an international business is responsible for abiding by laws of their own country and of a country in which they do business. They may also be responsible for abiding by international law, when it applies.
When Does International Law Apply?
International law governs relations between different nations, and business is one of the most important types of relations between nations. International law consists of a blend of different treaties, organizations, and agreements among countries. International law is created from a combination of:
• Treaties and International Agreements: These are basically contracts between two or more nations. If the highest power of each nation agrees to it, then the treaty becomes binding. For example, international treaties created a trade agreement between the United States and many other nations (known as NAFTA). Disputes regarding treaties may be handled by courts, such as the International Court of Justice, if they cannot be resolved by the parties themselves.
• International Organizations and Conferences: International organizations and conferences establish uniform international laws by adopting resolutions and other standards for all participating nations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an example of an international organization which holds conferences to decide important issues.
• International Customs: These usually consist of universal customs that many nations follow. For example, murder is universally considered a crime. There are universal customs in the business realm as well.
How Does International Law Regulate Business?
International laws regulate international business transactions. International law provides rules and remedies that nations agree to follow. Here are a few types of regulations:
• Tariffs taxes on imports;
• Quotas that limit amount of imports;
• Requiring business deals to be done in good faith; and
• Compensation for foreign investors if a country’s government confiscates their property.
How Can an Lawyer Help Me in an International Business Dispute?
When a legal dispute arises between parties from different countries, there are can be many difficult issues. If you have an international business dispute, there are local business attorneys who specialize in international law. Contact such an attorney to learn more about your rights, defenses, and the complicated issues that may arise. Business law is a section of code that is involved in protecting liberties and rights, maintaining orders, resolving disputes, and establishing standards for the business concerns and their dealings with government agencies and individuals. Every state defines its own set of regulations and laws for business organizations. Similarly, it is also the responsibility of the business concerns to know the existing rules and regulations applicable to them.
Importance of Business Law
Business law plays a vital role in regulating business practices in a country. Here are some points that prove why business law is so relevant:
• Compensation Issues: Business law is essential to handle various compensation issues in an organization. A professional business attorney in Utah can help companies in settling issues related to compensation and salary management. It is the responsibility of the attorney to ensure that his or her client does not violate compensation and benefits laws at any cost. The consequences can be fatal in case of any discrepancies.
• Safeguard the Rights of Shareholders: Business law plays a vital role when it comes to safeguarding the rights of a company’s shareholders. An experienced business law attorney can successfully handle such issues along with conflicts related to minority shareholders, constitutional documents, and resolution by arbitration, and more.
• Business Formation: Business law plays the role of a foundation stone for any business concern. Establishing business includes a lot of legal processes, leasing, and permits. A business law attorney is well-versed with all the relevant regulations, and can help the concern establish its operations successfully.
Functions of Business Law
Every business concern, either large-scale or small-scale, is bound to comply with their respective legal regulations. Here are some significant functions of business law that can help you in understanding it better.
• Includes laws related to business ethics, substantive law, procedural law, court system structure, and so on.
• Business law entails the taxation system for different types of businesses.
• The level of competition and antitrust are also involved.
• Business law also includes regulations about employee rights and privileges, workplace safety, overtime rules, and minimum wages law.
• It strives to alleviate the impact businesses have on the environment and nature. It aims to regulate pesticides, limit air and water pollution, chemical usage, and so on.
• Business law determines the formal process of establishment of a business organization and regulations related to the selling of corporate entities.
• It also includes rights assignment, drafting, and work delegations, breach of contract, transactions, contracts, and penalties for violation of the agreement.
• Business law defines laws related to business partnerships, entities, sole proprietorships, liability companies, and corporations.
• It describes laws related to business and real property.
• Business law analyses the overall impact of computer technology on other business domains.
• Includes laws related to bankruptcy and governance of the securities.
When Do Start-Up Businesses Need to Hire a Lawyer?
You may not need to hire a lawyer as soon as you think when starting a business. Once you have a great idea for your start-up business, do you need to hire a lawyer to help you get started? Not necessarily. A lot of the initial steps related to choosing and forming your business entity you can do on your own. However, once you get to later stages with your business—for example when you start hiring employees or entering into more complicated agreements; you may need the assistance of a lawyer. Remember, though, if you are uncertain about something at any stage in the process, deciding to hire a lawyer can save you money by helping you avoid mistakes or getting into a situation with unintended (and possibly costly) consequences.
Deciding on Your Business Structure
You will need to decide what type of ownership structure makes sense for your new business. Most states have information on their secretary of state (SOS) website about the different types of business entities you can choose from—solo proprietor, LLC, corporation, and partnership. There are also many online and other resources available to help you understand your choices. Figuring out what type of ownership structure best suits your needs will depend on the type of business you have, the number of owners, and your financing. Although many entrepreneurs make this decision on their own, you may have questions about liability, tax, ownership, or other things that you should discuss with a lawyer or an accountant before you decide.
How to Hire a Business Lawyer
The nature and objectives of your business will determine the legal expertise that is most valuable to you. For example, if you own a technology company, then you might be satisfied with a corporate attorney or firm that specializes primarily in intellectual property rights and licensing, even if they have little expertise in other areas of corporate law. If you run a more generic manufacturing or service business, then you might merely need a contracts expert to assist you with client negotiations, drafting and finalizing agreements, maintaining proper corporate records, and so forth.
To better define your company’s legal objectives, you can ask yourself the following:
• What legal guidance does my company need (regarding employees, contractors, government regulations, taxes, customer warranties, and so forth) in order to avoid future liability?
• Where are there efficiency or competency gaps in the company’s daily operations?
• What are my short and long-term goals for the business?
• Does the company need to raise additional capital?
• Does the business need to lease or purchase any commercial property?
• Does the business need to restructure its existing debt or capitalization?
• Does the company need to acquire or dispose of any assets?
• Am I considering a sale of the company or taking the company public?
• Does the company need to create additional divisions or subsidiaries?
Clearly defining your company’s needs allows you to proceed with your attorney search in a more productive manner.
Attorneys For International Businesses
When you need help with international business law, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506