Can a Business Lawyer Represent My Business in Court
As a business owner, you want to remain as professional as possible. However, owning a startup often means you need to stick to a budget. You may be wondering if your small business needs to hire an attorney for representation in a court case. The simple answer is probably, although there are a couple of exceptions to consider.
What Type of Business Do You Have?
If your business is a sole proprietorship, you can represent yourself in court. This is because you are an individual and can represent only yourself. As a sole proprietor, you can sue clients who owe you money, defend any claims against your business, and more. However, the process is complicated and experts don’t recommend it.
What Type of Court Case Do You Have?
Business law gets more complicated once you decide to incorporate your business. This is because you’ve chosen to separate your personal finances from your business finances. Therefore, you are no longer representing yourself, but a business. Legally, only an attorney can represent a business entity in a court of law, which means you’ll need to hire an attorney. Otherwise, you’d be guilty of committing the unauthorized practice of law. There is an exception for small claims court, as lawyers are typically not allowed to represent people in these courts. If your business ends up in small claims court, you can represent yourself or designate an employee to do so.
Why Should You Consider a Lawyer Either Way?
Even if you don’t need to go to court, it’s a good idea to hire a business attorney to help you along the way. For one thing, he or she is adept at business law, including contract law. Having an attorney help you draft contracts and read through them to ensure there are no loopholes makes it less likely you end up in court in the first place. If you do have to go to court, hiring a business attorney will help you through the process and make it more likely that the outcome will be in your favor. In addition, when you aren’t worried about putting together a court argument all by yourself, you’ll feel less stressed and have more time to focus on maintaining your current business clients.
Whether you are a sole proprietor or have an incorporated business, hire a business lawyer like Brown Kiely LLP to help you navigate the complexities of the law. Contact an attorney in your area today.