2020 LEGAL GUIDE

A Business Owner’s Resource to Legal Services

Counsel for Business

Before, during and after the COVID-19 disruption, specialized legal expertise serves our business community

by RaeAnne Marsh

Doing things right at the outset can save time and money down the road. This truism is especially relevant in business. Working with an attorney to ensure a business is on the right track, in compliance and negotiating with protection in mind is why working with an attorney is so beneficial. It is also why In Business Magazine has compiled this Legal Guide to showcase local firms who strongly support the business community and offer their specialized practice areas, to help business owners make decisions on what firm to use locally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many questions and brought to the fore many issues for businesspeople in every sector of the economy. Many law firms have stepped up to this need by posting on their websites updates on regulatory issues and articles to help business leaders navigate the challenges of this crisis.

There are many ways a business could get off on the wrong foot without proper advice. A common problem, alluded to in many of the monthly “Legal” articles in In Business Magazine, is businesses taking a DIY approach thinking it will save them money. This often backfires, making things more complicated — and, thus, more costly — when they later do get an attorney involved.

It’s not just a matter of knowing how to deal with certain matters; there may be requirements or implications of which the business owner is unaware. As the saying goes, “Most new business owners don’t know what they don’t know.”

For instance, perhaps a business has been approached by another regarding a transaction. The owner may try to reach agreement on the business terms before getting an attorney involved, and then just ask the attorney to write it up. Law relies heavily on precedent, and there may be implications and ramifications to certain terms the business owner may be unaware of — this on top of the potential for missed opportunities for the business.

When exiting a business, as well, there are many factors to be considered that an owner may not have dealt with. These include tax ramifications, transfer of intellectual property rights, and how to structure proceeds to be most beneficial for future income. And there may be regulatory requirements such as getting permission from the Federal Trade Commission if the sale exceeds a certain threshold; if the company is in breach or violation of that law, the transaction could be revoked — or fines and penalties could be assessed.

It should be emphasized that, while law does rely heavily on precedent, change does occur — through new regulations, new court decisions and even through public outcry. The cover story of the June issue that this special section appears in delves into changes in some of the broad areas that apply to businesses across industries. (“The Law and Your Business,” June 2019 issue of In Business Magazine)

What an attorney brings to businesses, then, is a view to avoid both pitfalls and missed opportunity. This In Business Magazine 2020 Legal Guide has been created to help businesses connect with the appropriate resources for their needs and to be a reference should a specific expertise be needed.

How to Choose a Lawyer

  • The State Bar Association of Arizona’s website offers these valuable tips:
  • Get recommendations from friends and family members who have had positive experiences with lawyers.
  • Search for lawyers by practice area or location at the State Bar’s online Find a Lawyer feature on its homepage.
  • Visit the lawyer’s website; see if they will answer some basic questions before you commit to meeting with them. Ask about their experience in handling your particular issues, and their availability to take client phone calls and respond to emails. Some lawyers insist that clients make appointments and will not answer client calls and emails. You will want someone who is accessible when you need them.
  • Consult a list of Certified Legal Specialists. The State Bar can provide a list of specialists in the areas of Bankruptcy, Criminal, Estate and Trust, Family Law, Injury and Wrongful Death, Real Estate, Tax and Workers’ Compensation.
  • There are also lawyer referral services, which, for a small fee, will help in finding a lawyer.

Source: State Bar of Arizona

Practice Areas

Click on the practice area below to see recommended law firms. Or, Click Here to see the entire list of law firms.