The Role Of A Lawyer In Your New Startup

Posted on : July 18, 2016

In all the excitement of setting up shop, it is easy to be a starry-eyed optimist – and ignore any foreboding. While a positive outlook is to be revered and cherished, don’t wait until something bad does happen to call on the services of a small business lawyer. It is the smart thing to do.

A small business attorney will provide essential counsel in just about every facet of your business – correct business incorporation procedures, zoning compliance, copyright and trademark guidance, liability and small business insurance. A startup lawyer focuses on setting up the legal structure which allows your startup to raise capital, issue equity to key employees, and scale quickly.

Who do you need?

Attorneys are increasingly specialized on specific aspects of the law. Choosing a firm that covers all, or at least most, of you needs is an important consideration from the outset. Some of the areas of law which are commonly needed by startups include:

  • Preparation and review of contracts between you and your customers and suppliers.
  • Analysis of the best way to organize your business – a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) – and the relevant paperwork.
  • Negotiation of leases for your commercial space.
  • Assistance with trademark and copyright protection.
  • Liability and small business insurance

What to look for in a small business lawyer?

  • The best place to start when selecting a lawyer is usually within your network. Asking for a referral is a reliable way to find a lawyer with whom you can relate, feel comfortable, and trust.
  • You want a lawyer who has the patience to explain the law to you so that you and your team can avoid legal issues ahead of time.
  • Competent law firms are experienced with the types of issues you may face. No one lawyer knows everything about every area of law. For specialized instances, your attorney should have a working relationship with a network of various law specialists.
  • Your attorney should be somewhat familiar with your industry and its legal environment. Ideally, though, your lawyer doesn’t have said knowledge from representing your key competitors.
  • One of the reasons small business owners are wary of hiring a lawyer is the costs involved. While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, there are ways to reduce unnecessary expenses. Ensure that the law firm you go with assigns the right seniority for the job. While you don’t want a rookie to be negotiating on your behalf, you shouldn’t pay for a senior partner to prepare the documents.

To find a business attorney in Washington, DC, please contact us today.

How Can Attorneys Assist You Regarding Insurance Policies

Posted on : July 11, 2016


A glossary is normally found at the end of an article? In this case, it makes sense to clarify one type of insurance cover from another before we delve into the topic.

Primary insurance cover responds first to an insured loss, either on a first dollar basis or after allowing for deductibles. Once the primary coverage limits have been paid, the outstanding loss is covered by any excess insurance in place.

Umbrella insurance cover generally provides excess coverage over various primary liability policies, such as commercial general liability, auto liability, and employers’ liability. The umbrella policy:

  • provides excess limits when the limits of basic liability policies are depleted by the payment of claims,
  • drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the amassed limit of the primary policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims, and
  • offers protection against certain claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption by the named insured of a self-insured retention (SIR).

Commercial General Liability covers business organizations against claims for bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of premises, operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury (PI) liability.

The process

As soon as you contact your insurance company about property damage or other losses, the insurance company will instruct a claims adjuster to evaluate the loss and calculate a settlement amount.

Ideally, the insurance company will accept your claim and provide a fair settlement. If, however, the insurance company rejects your claim, proposes a settlement lower than warranted, or acts in bad faith, then you will need an insurance lawyer.

Insurance attorneys assess your case to ensure that all is in order prior to litigating. A commercial law firm protects your rights against unethical insurance agencies and negotiate a fair settlement.

To find an insurance attorney in Fairfax, VA, please contact us today.

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