Underlying the practice of law is a reality all attorneys eventually come to terms with: no one really wants to deal with them. It’s not personal—well, it’s not always personal—it’s just that hiring a lawyer usually means something bad is happening in a person’s life, whether personal or business-related. Perhaps it’s natural then that people tend to avoid lawyers all together.
That is, of course, until they need one.
Through my own experience working with small businesses, I’ve found this to be particularly true when it comes to small business owners. A recent survey found that 60% of all small businesses faced a significant legal event in the past two years, yet over half of these businesses reported that they did not seek the help of an attorney to resolve the issue. Paradoxically, the study also found that these same business owners consider their reluctance to use an attorney as one of the greatest threats to their business.
This begs the question: what gives?
The vast majority of small business owners cite the seemingly high cost of hiring an attorney as the greatest contributor to this reluctance. Yet I have found time and again that taking preventative steps and addressing these issues up front consistently saves small business owners a great deal of time, stress, and, most importantly, money in the long run.
This will be the focal point of this new blog series over the next several weeks. We will be tackling some of the most common issues facing small business and shedding light on preemptive measures small business owners can take so they can (hopefully) avoid being in the 60% quoted above. The most common legal issues that this blog series will address relate to debt collection, contract and document review, disputes with contractors/suppliers, product liability, employment issues, internet/technology breaches, and what to do when customers threaten to sue.
It is our hope that addressing these issues head on will empower small business owners and demystify many of the misconceptions associated with the issues they most commonly face. As the series progresses, don’t hesitate to ask questions and get involved in the discussion. We’re here to help and want to provide the most relevant and practical information we can.