3 Damaging Misconceptions that Prevent Business Owners from Hiring General Counsel

Many business owners assume that only big companies like Wal-Mart and Microsoft need general counsel. Business giants most certainly do have general counsel, in fact they usually have entire legal departments. However, the big guys are not the only businesses that can and should benefit from general counsel. Here are some common misconceptions smaller businesses have about the necessity of general counsel:

1) Hiring counsel is too costly

Actually, hiring general counsel for your business may help you SAVE money. For example, general counsel can prevent you from entering into contracts, leases, and other agreements that are not in your best interest. An experienced business lawyer like those at APH Law will know the common pitfalls to avoid in such agreements. By reviewing potential contracts before your business enters into them, general counsel can actually save your business money and aggravation that you might otherwise incur down the road. Additionally, general counsel can help your business avoid being sued by helping you create legal foundations which will mitigate your risks and help ensure you are always in compliance with all state and federal statutes applicable to your business.

2) My business is too small for general counsel

Smaller businesses have a tendency to try to handle all aspects of the business themselves. While this might seem financially prudent, it is not necessarily the best practice. Suppose that rather than hiring a human resources specialist for your business, the owners simply try to handle HR matters on their own. Suddenly the business finds itself in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or the state worker’s compensation laws. Similarly, the owners may discover that their personal assets may be used to satisfy a legal judgment after they failed to organize and structure in a manner to appropriately limit their liability. Small businesses are oftentimes even more vulnerable to serious legal issues, and general counsel can help your business avoid costly mistakes before they occur.

3) My business can always hire an attorney if a legal need arises

Many small business owners can be naïve about the current legal environment. Many never expect to find themselves involved in a legal matter. Thinking of general counsel as someone who simply comes in to “put out fires” can be a very bad idea. Not only are attorneys skilled at handling legal problems that arise in the course of doing business, a skilled business attorney is very adept at risk management or anticipating legal problems and developing ways to avoid them altogether, or at least to minimize the impact they may have on your business. Even if you are faced with a legal dispute, general counsel will help you install measures which will help put you in the best position to win the case, rather than having to adjust on the fly to unexpected legal action.

Do not allow your company to fall victim to misconceptions about hiring general counsel to advise and protect your business. Contact APH Law today to find out what general counsel services could do for your small business.

Written by APH Law PLLC


When we founded APH Law PLLC in 2010, we did so out of a desire to connect business owners with more and better opportunities. No matter what industry you’re operating in, creating a strong foundation, preparing for the future, and protecting against challenges are key to long-term success. It is this kind of support that we take tremendous pride in helping businesses.