The Benefits of Outsourcing Your In-House Counsel

Many small-business owners think their choice is between having in-house counsel or employing outside counsel for their legal needs. The fear inherent to this line of thinking is that, in reality, the choice becomes one of expensive in-house counsel or no legal counsel at all. However, a middle ground exists to provide solutions for a variety of business sizes and needs: outsourced in-house counsel services.

Almost all Business Decisions Have Legal Implications

When you are running your own business, to say you are busy is usually an understatement. From day-to-day operations to long-term decision making, the buck stops with you. And money is always a question. When making a spending decision, from buying equipment and hiring employees, to purchasing or leasing real estate, you have to consider what the return on the investment will be.

It is also wise to consider the legal aspects of these matters. Your hiring and equipment-buying decisions can have significant legal implications, especially if something goes wrong. Leasing and buying real estate involves complicated legal procedures and endless fine print that may seem like a different language to you, but that an experienced business law attorney can capably sort through.

Some people think that lawyers should be avoided as much as possible because they usually mean trouble. However, perhaps the better view is to see the law as the superstructure and lawyers as the facilitators that support a smooth business operation. And after all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Business Formation and Operational Documents

In-house counsel can help structure or review your formational and operational documents to make sure your interests are protected and that you are in compliance with the law. Many small businesses operate in an informal fashion - decisions are made on the fly when they need to be. While this may work for a while, this process can cause problems, particularly as a business grows larger.

The only thing nastier than an ugly divorce is an ugly break-up of a business, exacerbated by a lack of planning. When things are going well, many formalities seem trivial and get in the way of getting things done. If problems develop, though, suddenly recriminations begin to fly. Even if a business relationship has not soured but partners decide to go different ways, planning for the departure of a partner or the sale or discontinuation of a business will ease the transition.

In-House Outside Counsel

For businesses that cannot justify the expense of full time in-house counsel to provide these services, however, many law firms offer "in-house" services with various plans tailored to the businesses' specific needs. Outsourcing your in-house counsel allows the flexibility of having an attorney who knows your business and can provide answers when you need them, without the expense of full-time in-house counsel.

If you would like to know more about how an outsourced in-house counsel relationship can be built to meet your needs, contact a knowledgeable business law attorney in your area.