Many small business owners never bother consulting with an attorney when they first start their company, but as time goes by, there may be situations where you are better served by consulting with an attorney rather than attempting to solve the problem yourself. The following are only three of these situations.

Trademark Violations

You may have been in business for several years, but one day you discover that another company is using your company's name, a product name or business logo. This is not something that requires a phone call or a visit to the business that is using your name. You need to sit down with a lawyer specializing in business law and give him or her the facts, so the proper legal procedure can take place. If you can establish that you have the right to use the name, there are steps an attorney can take to protect your rights. Although it is possible that trademark violations can escalate into a lawsuit, having a lawyer from the start can often prevent this. A simple letter from your attorney may solve the problem.

Before Signing a Contract

It is common for a business owner to enter into contracts with other businesses. Contracts with suppliers for inventory are one example. Contracts with customers for long-term deliveries are also common. And depending upon the type business you are in, you may have the need for contracts for sales representation. Whatever the specific form of contract, you should never sign a contract without an attorney looking at it. You should also not attempt to draw up your own contracts for others to sign. An attorney can help you create a contract for your specific needs.

Selling Your Business

If you are at a point where you are thinking about selling your business, you should always talk to an attorney familiar with buying and selling a business. An attorney may be able to help with placing a fair market value on your business. In addition, all of the necessary paperwork can be drawn up and explained, so you can understand all aspects of the sale. Having an attorney can help during negotiations with a buyer, who is likely to have an attorney as well.

Of course, the time to consult an attorney is best done before you go into business. A business attorney can help you with all of the legal aspects of starting a business. However, if you are already in business, it is never too late to start using an attorney for all of your legal needs both today and into the future.