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A lawyer is a professional who advises and represents entities on legal matters. The entity a lawyer advises or represents may either be a person or a corporate body. A business is an example of a corporate body a lawyer represents.

The question of whether or not a business needs a lawyer is a function of many factors. Some of the factors include, the size of the business, the nature of the business, etc.

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Some small businesses may not require the services of a lawyer while others will. For instance, someone who intends to retail cups of cappuccinos as a business may not require the service of a lawyer before he starts his business. On the other hand, a person whose business is production of home-made candles will require the service of a lawyer.


Small businesses require the legal expertise of lawyers in many areas of their businesses. This is because they may not be well knowledgeable in some areas of their business.

The following are areas in which a business owner may not have expertise and will require the service of a lawyer or other legal practitioners.

  1. Choosing business entity
  2. Selecting a business name
  3. Business registration
  4. Acquisition of permits and license
  5. Law compliance.
  6. Minimize risk and liabilities
  7. Patenting your business idea
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Every business needs a definition. They have to be seen as a particular kind of entity in order for them to be recognised by appropriate authority. The service of a lawyer can be employed if one is yet to decide whether to incorporate as a sole proprietorship business or a partnership one. Also, a lawyer can help tell if the business is to be registered as a ‘business name’ or a ‘Private limited liability company (PLC) ‘. The lawyer would help weigh options based on the nature of the particular business.

A lawyer is well informed of the pros and cons of the different business entities that exist. They will expose businesspersons to these pros and cons and guide them through the selection process. 


Another process that is crucial to the formation of a business is getting a unique business name. As easy as naming a company seems. It requires some level of technicality that only a professional or someone knowledgeable in that respect can give. A lawyer can help you research whether or not the business name you intend to use is not trademarked by someone else. This is because your new business can fold up just as it sets out, if you operate with the name of an already existing business. This is why you may be needing legal advice in this regard.


After you must have chosen a unique business name the next thing to do is to get incorporated. 

A small business owner may require the service of a lawyer to file certificates of incorporation. This document is needed for a business owner to operate their business legally. A business that is not properly registered is not a legal entity. As far as the government is concerned, it is operating illegally.

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To get a location, acquire a property, introduce new products and other forms of expansion common to businesses, a business owner is required to obtain certain permits and licences. To get these licences, small businesses often consult the service of a lawyer. 

These documents may be general to businesses or specific to the particular kind of business. For instance, to start a restaurant business in the United States, one is required to have most or all of the following licences and permits.

  • A Business License.
  • Certificate of occupancy.
  • Employee health permit.
  • Sign permit.
  • Employer Identification number.
  • Building Health Permit.
  • Food service licence.
  • Liquor permit.
  • Dumpster Placement Permit. Etc.

Going through a lawyer makes obtaining these licenses faster.


In order to comply with laws you must know the law. Consulting a lawyer in your business gives you access to legal information before starting out your business. When you are kept abreast with information regarding laws governing the operations you would be able to abide by local, state and even federal laws, running your business.


Starting out a business is taking risks. But, when you work with an experienced lawyer putting you through the intricacies, it is less likely you encounter such risks. If you do encounter some along the line an experienced lawyer would intimate you with modalities to follow. This would reduce the risks to the barest minimum. 

In any case you make mistakes running your business, or in instances of a legal claim, a lawyer would help restrict your liabilities. They also come handy when drafting contracts.


A patent is a right granted by the government through the commercial law department of Ministries of Industries, Trade and Investment or other equivalent government body. It is issued upon request to anyone who invents anything new, including a business idea. It is also issued in cases where an already existing process is improved upon.

Other documents useful to people in business in this regard are the trademark and copyright. While a patent protects the business idea, a trademark protects the name, logo and other registered properties of the business.

Considering that these documents are legal documents a lawyer’s help would go a long way in applying for and acquiring them.

The above are the ways in which a lawyer can help a new small business. While these hold, it is still possible to run a small business smoothly without the aid of a legal practitioner. The owner of the business through careful research may be able to run his business without a lawyer. A big company, on the other hand, may not be possible to run without a lawyer. 


Limited Liability Company, LLC and Corporation, are common examples of big businesses that require the service of a lawyer. The following are reasons why these businesses require the service of a lawyer.

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  1. Drafting of contracts and agreements.
  2. Protection of intellectual properties.
  3. Establishing company’s bye-laws.
  4. Filling in articles of organization.
  5. Issuing stock to shareholders.
  6. Appointment of corporate directors.
  7. Creating deeds of partnership (partnership agreement).
  8. Minimization of business liabilities including taxes.
  9. Drafting workable corporate structures.
  10. Avoidance of lawsuits. etc.

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