The Benefits of Having a General Counsel

Do you have a general counsel that serves the needs of your design or engineering practice? Do you know what it costs you every year not to have ready access to legal counsel who knows your industry?

Most of us labor under the misunderstanding that a lawyer, like a funeral director, is only to be called upon when absolutely necessary.  If you operate your practice that way, sooner, rather than later, your practice will die.

Good business planning requires legal help.  Some things to think about:

1. What are your thoughts on an ideal design practice?

2. What type of business entity should you have?   LLC? S-Corp? or an LLC choosing subchapter S status for tax purposes?

3. How much capital should the members contribute?

4. How do you bring in new principals?

5. How are profits and (God forbid) losses to be divided?

6. How do you resolve disputes among the principals?

7. Management issues?

8. Technology?

9. Policy and procedures?

10. Should you have employer’s liability insurance?

11. What are the terms and conditions of your contract–should you use AIA forms or some version of your own terms and conditions?

General Counsel whom you have on a monthly retainer primed to think proactively like this may be a lifesaver for your firm or business.