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How to Choose a Business Attorney

The right business attorney can see you through the legal matters you face as a business owner. From employment issues and contracts to founder agreements, trademark protection and raising venture capital, many situations may require the assistance of a qualified lawyer.

To best protect your company, experts recommend looking for a business attorney before the need for legal help arises. How can you find a lawyer who can protect your interests and meet your needs?

Business attorney in Salt Lake City

Ask Another Attorney

If you have worked with a lawyer in the past — perhaps in writing a will or purchasing real estate — contact them and ask for recommendations. Attorneys often know lawyers in other specialization areas, and your contact may be able to suggest a highly qualified local business lawyer. 

Request Referrals from Colleagues

You can also look to other business owners in the area. While hiring an attorney who represents a big competitor may not be wise, choosing a business lawyer who works with other companies that deal with similar issues can be beneficial. 

Check with the Local Bar Association

Local and state bar associations are another good source of business attorney referrals. Most organizations provide contact lists of lawyers and legal practices arranged by area of specialty and location. 

Research Each Business Attorney

When you have several names of local lawyers, check their credentials and work history. Most attorneys maintain websites where you can find out about their educational background, how long they have been practicing law, their professional qualifications and their core competencies. Use this information to narrow down the list to your top attorney choices. 

Schedule Introductory Consultations

Most business lawyers offer complimentary introductory consultations. Make appointments with each of the attorneys you’re considering.

Come to the meeting with questions that pertain to your specific needs and the expertise of the lawyer. Treat the consultation as a sort of job interview, as you want to leave knowing whether this attorney is one you would hire. Take notes to help you remember your impressions during the meeting. 

Select the Best Business Attorney

As you make your final decision, consider how comfortable you are with the lawyer and their communication skills, and be sure to choose a professional you feel you can trust.

Are you looking for a reputable and experienced local business lawyer in the greater Salt Lake City area? Schedule a consultation with the award-winning legal team at the Franchise & Business Law Group.

Our lawyers have decades of experience working with Utah business owners. And with our forward-thinking advice and client-centered approach, the Franchise & Business Law Group can protect your company and help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to schedule a confidential business attorney consultation.

Succession Planning for Franchisors

Succession planning is critical for any business owner. But for franchisors, having a business continuity plan in place is imperative to ensure ongoing operations.

Large corporations generally have their bases covered when it comes to continuity, thanks to the checks and balances of a more complex ownership or shareholder structure. For smaller businesses and those companies that are closely held, however, the death or incapacitation of an owner can bring operations to a halt and potentially cause a complex legal nightmare for everyone involved.

Business and franchise succession planning

Understanding Business Continuity & Succession Planning

Closely held businesses, where one or more owners are responsible for day-to-day operations and decision-making, are vulnerable to interruption, and ultimately, failure, should an owner die or become unable to make decisions for the company.

The essence of succession planning lies in identifying your successor(s) and preparing them to step into your shoes seamlessly, should the need arise. Not only must you determine how your business will move forward if you are no longer at the helm, but you must implement the legal structures necessary to achieve your objectives.

Whether you plan to pass your business on to future generations, sell it as a going concern or liquidate its assets, planning an exit strategy can take a decade or more. For many business owners who have begun franchising their concept, the importance of planning for the unknown becomes obscured by the need to responsibly manage growth.

Why Franchisors Need Succession Planning

You have put your time, effort and money into launching and building your business. When you reach the level of success that allows you to franchise, the chances are good that your company has many years (or decades) of growth ahead.

However, unless you start planning now for how the business will continue to thrive without you, all your efforts could be lost, should you suffer an untimely passing or become unable to run your company. Not only will this affect your company, but it could potentially put your franchisees in a precarious legal and financial position.

Your business attorney can take you through the steps of establishing and implementing a succession plan. Although the details of your plan will depend on a variety of factors, it is important to identify the necessary steps and put a formalized plan into place.

If you have business partners, talk to your business attorney about negotiating and executing a business buy-sell agreement with your partners. This helps prevent any disputes or business interruptions, should one partner die or become incapacitated.

Ensuring Business Continuity for Your Franchisees

As important as it is for franchisors to implement a comprehensive continuity plan, your franchisees also need to plan for what might come next — to protect themselves and you.

Albeit on a smaller scale, your franchisees are apt to get caught up in establishing their business and carving out their share of the market, forgetting to plan for unexpected contingencies. Talk to your franchise lawyer about how you can structure your franchise agreements to minimize any potential disruption in your own cash flow, should a franchise end up in probate or without effective management.

In Salt Lake City, Franchise & Business Law Group provides a comprehensive suite of legal services to small- to medium-sized business owners, with a specialization in franchise and commercial law. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to discuss implementing succession planning for your business.