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9 Times You Need A Lawyer and Not a Generic Form for Your Small Business

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Having your business legally legit is one of those things that can be overwhelming because most of us are not attorneys, but it’s critical for growth and success. We panic over the cost of hiring an attorney when we are first starting out, or even after we’ve been in business for a minute. But, let us remind you that unenforceable contracts, no contracts, or incorrect agreements can cost your business much more severely. Melissa Wick of Wick Law Offices LLC recently shared with the Haven Community 9 times when a lawyer will be better for your business than downloading a form from services like LegalZoom.

9 Times to Hire An Attorney To Protect Your Business

Protect IP 

(copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets). Hiring an attorney to guide you through the search and application process(es) will help you avoid potential mistakes and can advise you on what marks will likely pass through the process successfully.

Services Contracts. 

Customizing contracts for your specific business and industry is critical. Making sure that all your bases are covered, disclaimers, waivers, and releases are clearly defined, cancellation and refund policies are strong are just a few of the areas where an attorney can protect your business. 

Online Course Contracts or Terms of Use. 

These agreements typically get signed before a client buys from you and are similar in nature to services contracts, with more protects for your IP, timing parameters, and limits on liability.

Group Coaching Memberships. 

Customizing these contracts, confidentiality sections and dispute resolutions are definitely things to discuss with an attorney.

Website Protections. 

If you’re doing a lot of business online, through your website, make sure your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and disclaimers are up to date and customized for your business.

Contractor vs Employee Agreements. 

Avoid hiring pitfalls by discussing your requirements with your attorney, then get them to draw up the appropriate contract for your first or next hire. Often, we think we want to hire an independent contractor, or 1099, but legally that may be wrong based on your needs to control what and when that person completes their tasks. Your lawyer can make sure you avoid any mistakes that will cost you down the road. 

Strategic Partnerships. 

These brand collaborations, ambassadorships, or affiliates work best for everyone when the terms are very clearly defined in an agreement. It’s very difficult to find a form for anything this specific, so always consult an attorney to make sure all parties are covered.


Fundraising can get very tricky, so consulting an attorney can help you if you are raising funds from friends, family, or angel investors (if you are looking for venture funding, its gets even more tricky.). Promissory notes or equity stakes in your company should both be reviewed and customized by an attorney so you know you’re following all SEC regulations and other laws.

Confidentiality Agreements. 

An attorney can help you define confidential information, spell out ownership of what you’re protecting, and outline remedies if there is a default.   

About Melissa Wick

Hiring the right attorney for your business will provide you with a strong foundation to build from. They will help you assess risks associated with your specific business and industry, and then they customize contracts, guard your intellectual property, and protect you with waivers and releases. All of these things will likely improve your self-confidence because you can trust that everything is buttoned up and covered so you can focus on running your business.

For more information about Melissa Wick and how she supports small business, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, read about her here.

Melissa is one of the coaches at Haven that supports the community through one-on-one private sessions to answer their questions. To learn more about private coaching and other Haven support services, join us for a tour today.

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