Every business will run into legal issues in the course of its existence. Most times the question will arise as to whether or not a business lawyer is necessary to represent in court.  Business lawyers are able to help in most business scenarios, ranging from incorporation to litigation.  The question is knowing when you can handle the task yourself and when outside help is needed.

Here are some rules and guidelines you can follow to help answer the question of when to represent yourself and when to hire a business lawyer.

What You Can Handle Yourself

There are a few, non-serious instances when representing yourself is an ok idea.  Even if you may end up following through by yourself, but having an initial consultation with a business lawyer is beneficial to ensure you know what to do.

Name your business or trade marking

Naming your business is fairly straightforward but be aware that unless you are using your own name, you will need to fill out a “Doing business as” form.  Check if an associated URL is available and if you are able to trademark your name before finalizing your decision.

Structuring your business

Legal assistance is not necessarily required when entering into a partnership agreement or putting together an LLC.  Again, it is a prudent step to first consult a business lawyer to guide you through the process.

Registering your business

A lawyer is not required to start a business.  You are applying for correct licenses, permits, tax registrations and getting a EIN (Employment Identification Number).  Consult with a lawyer or conduct some online research so you know what you have to file.

Contract creation and NDA’s

You can create your own customer contracts; vendor agreements, partner agreements and non-disclosure agreements do not require a lawyer.

Buy-Sell Agreements

Buy-sell agreements protect you in a partnership or LLC consisting of multiple owners.

When Do I Need A Business Lawyer

Once things get more complicated, or there is more at stake it is always wise to hire a business lawyer to get you through smoothly.


When forming a corporation that includes shareholders and a board a lawyer is necessary.  This is not a straightforward task and consists of complex tax and legal requirements are present.

Patent Filing

Filing for patents can be an expensive and very time-consuming process.  Consulting a business lawyer before setting out to patent something can save a ton of headache and hassle down the road.

Litigation Matters

Lawsuits from employees, customers, environmental protection agencies, governments etc. require the assistance of an experienced business lawyer.

Buying or Selling a Business Entity

These can be very complicated waters to navigate so having a business lawyer on your side can help a great deal.

If you are looking for a business lawyer to assist you in the Ottawa area, it is a good idea to conduct an online search.  Enter the search term “business lawyer Ottawa” and you will get a long list of available attorneys in the area that are ready and willing to serve you.