Joke about lawyers at your own small business expense

Editor’s note: Michelle Stockman works with Little Rock-based Arkansas Capital Corp. to promote entrepreneurship development around the state. Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago in communications and fine arts, and earned a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. Her thoughts on business success appear each Monday on The City Wire.

It is easy to make jokes about lawyers and scoff at the idea of needing to hire one. However, entrepreneurs need to be proactive about having the proper legal assistance ready to serve the business. In addition to establishing a legal structure for the business based on the level of legal protection the entrepreneur needs, businesses also need lawyers for a wide range of services.

The first type of a lawyer a business needs is general counsel who specializes in business law. This overall legal assistance can help the business through any claims brought against the organization, assist the entrepreneur in processing any incorporation papers, review contracts and more.

Secondly, businesses need lawyers to assist with human resource law. From reviewing employee manuals to representing the company on labor disputes, human resource law is complicated and delicate. A good labor lawyer can make this area of business much less stressful.

Lastly, many innovative entrepreneurs need lawyers who specialize in intellectual property protection. From filing patents, trademarks or copy rights to protecting the rights of the intellectual property owner, lawyers with this specialization are critical to many small companies.

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