Family lawyers are uniquely attuned to the complex issues that family-owned businesses face. They are skilled at addressing business and personal matters, can help clients avoid court, and can act as insurance for your business in case of a legal dispute.

A family lawyer prioritizes counseling and consulting over document creation, focusing on solving problems before they become serious. Read on to discover why you should consider working with a family lawyer.

Saves You Money

A family business lawyer is a legal counselor and strategist who works with you to prevent problems, detect them quickly, and guide your company away from them. In contrast to an in-house counsel attorney who focuses on creating documents, a family business lawyer emphasizes counseling and consulting with clients—with document creation a useful byproduct of the professional relationship.

Often, a family-run business faces unique challenges that can lead to financial loss. For example, many family members may want to join the company but need more skills or experience to contribute. These issues can lead to disputes that result in costly litigation. A family business lawyer near me can help you create employment agreements that establish guidelines and qualifications for the participation of family members who wish to work in the company, including a salary and performance review process.

The attorneys at Woods Lonergan can also help you create a business succession plan. In the event of a dispute, they can assist you with the division of assets and liabilities by New York law. They understand that resolving family and business issues isn’t always possible, but they will do their best to reach a reasonable resolution for the company and its employees. They will be able to separate your emotions from the case, which can help you achieve a more satisfactory outcome.

Saves You Time

Family business lawyers have a broad perspective. They can help you understand how your business operations impact your family life and offer guidance on balancing those two areas. Their insight into family and business matters can help you resolve conflicts, salvage business relationships and keep your company operating smoothly.

While regular lawyers may be capable of setting up a corporate entity, they’re often hired for specific transactions or litigation. They are not necessarily experienced with the unique management challenges facing family businesses. A family law attorney can create a structure that supports your family’s vision while protecting your interests in the event of future disputes or divorce.

In addition to setting up corporate entities, a family business lawyer can help you develop and execute comprehensive governance agreements that provide clear lines of communication, roles, revenue-sharing, policies and responsibilities. These documents can help reduce conflict and align your family’s values and business strategies.

A skilled family business lawyer can also help you set up employment agreements for key employees. These documents can help prevent conflict when a dispute arises regarding an employee’s duties, compensation, or performance. They can also address issues involving confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation provisions. They can save you time and money by helping you avoid lengthy court battles. Instead, you can reach a settlement that aligns with your goals while avoiding unnecessary legal expenses.

It helps You Reach an Agreement Without Going to Court.

Many family businesses hire a lawyer to help them with a one-off transaction or litigation. These lawyers, however, tend to focus on forms and documents. While they are useful in their way, they don’t truly understand your business or your goals and are not practicing true family business law.

Family lawyers can help with complex issues like establishing trusts for each family member, limiting the number of family members eligible to participate in the company’s operations, and ensuring that non-family employees don’t receive preferential treatment from family owners. A good lawyer can also help you create governance agreements to ensure that family members are held accountable for their performance and that nepotism is avoided.

A family lawyer can also separate personal and professional issues, which can be important in business. For instance, if a family member works in the company and makes a mistake, it could cause major conflict between the company and the family. A lawyer can help you impose discipline and fire family members if necessary without affecting the business.

Finally, a family lawyer can assist with complex legal matters like divorces that involve significant assets and liabilities. These cases require a high level of analysis, detail-oriented work and can involve emotional issues. A family lawyer can help reduce the emotional burden of the case, leading to a faster and more satisfactory resolution.

Helps You Prepare for Court Appearances

A lawyer can help you prepare for any court appearances or other legal issues that may arise. They will review any contracts and other important documents for your business and can also help you avoid potential liabilities. This includes ensuring your business complies with local, state, and federal laws and regulations. They can also assist with employment law, health & safety, and environmental issues.

Hiring a family business lawyer can also save you money in the long run by preventing any disagreements or disputes from turning into legal problems. Family lawyers are trained to separate personal and professional matters to effectively handle conflicts that could impact the company’s financial success.

When a dispute arises, a family lawyer can provide for your business and your family. They can also take care of any legal paperwork and filing deadlines for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

By Sambit