When Should a Small Business Consider Hiring Outside General Counsel?

Legal troubles are never a walk in the park, but they can be devastating to a small business or startup. Hiring outside general counsel can help you avoid difficulties down the road. Learn more about this role, what it entails and how it can be important for your small business.

What Is Outside General Counsel?

Large companies can have entire legal departments staffed by in-house general counsel, while a moderately-large business may only maintain a single full-time legal professional. Smaller businesses and startups, however, are typically better working with outside general counsel, at least in the beginning.

Unless your business is built around skirting existing legal or regulatory processes, you likely will not need general counsel on a full-time basis in the early days of your venture. Companies like Uber, for instance, that circumvent existing taxi licensing and regulation processes, may need full-time legal help from the very beginning in order to ensure they’re not breaking the law as the venture grows.

More conservative small businesses, though, which aren’t testing the limits of an existing legal framework, generally don’t have enough legal work to justify the expense of in-house counsel. Still, managing risk is a vital part of any business venture. You may not have the revenue to justify the overhead expense of a full-time attorney, but having an outside general counsel you can call on in times of difficulty or when you’re simply not sure how to proceed can make all the difference for your business. Establishing a relationship with outside counsel early allows you to keep your lawyer in the loop about new developments and to communicate on an as-needed basis, so you’re not shouldering the burden of paying for full-time counsel you don’t yet need.

Finding Legal Help You Can Trust

From helping you spot and avoid liabilities to assistance navigating complex contracts, outside general counsel can play a vital role in your small business without being on the permanent payroll. At Edwards Sutarwalla Law Partners, we’re able to help you mitigate risk in your business ventures. Call today to learn more about how outside general counsel may be the perfect choice.



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