Business is all about negotiation. As someone who owns or manages a company, you know this better than anyone else. Gone are the days, however, when lawyers weren’t always so involved in the deals you made with your partners or other business owners. To some degree, you probably yearn for a time when a simple handshake was all it took to secure your interests.
The reality is that lawyers were always involved in business to some degree. If it seems like we’re more present than ever before, it’s because business owners are making the smart decision to ensure they and their business interests are protected during important times.
Our job isn’t to stick our noses in business where they don’t belong, but to safeguard our clients’ interests and facilitate negotiations and transactions in an organized, sensible manner. If you still aren’t convinced that you should have an attorney’s help, read on to learn more.
Above all other reasons why you should seek an attorney to represent you in M/A actions and other types of negotiations, having an advocate for your legal interests is the most important. While you may have gotten to where you are without an attorney’s help, it’s generally advised that you proceed with legal representation.
In any kind of negotiation, your business – and sometimes you, personally – can get hooked for legal obligations you neither wanted nor ever intended to assume. You may not even realize exactly what you agreed to until the deal is done and it’s too late to fix anything. A lawyer representing you can identify threats to your liability and explain options you may have to mitigate these issues.
Business negotiations can quickly break down if they aren’t adequately organized. Even if parties understand the ultimate goal they’re trying to reach, there’s a lot of minutiae they must get through first. To make matters worse, any agreement or disagreement on any one of these finer details can affect others – or even the ultimate outcome – in ways that make reaching an agreement more difficult than necessary, or even impossible.
Business negotiations organized by your attorney, however, can be laid out into phases where each stage deals with a particular set of sub-negotiations and deals that build upon one another. By breaking the big picture down into more manageable chunks, your attorney can help you and the other party move through this process more efficiently, rather than trying to handle everything with an “all-or-nothing” approach.
Knowledge is power, especially in business negotiations. Finding out as much about your opposition’s situation, previous deals similar to the one you’re facing, and even personal details about the other party can all culminate into more leverage that you can use. Your attorney can help you coordinate your fact-finding efforts by identifying what information might be useful and how it can be acquired.
If, for example, negotiations have stalled out due to trouble connecting with the other party, understanding that the other business owner is an avid tennis player can help you find common ground to start breaking the ice. You could approach this with a direct conversation about the sport or work in some language that evokes “tennis” to reach the other party.
Of course, it’s also always important to understand how your deal would compare to others like it. This can help you set expectations for yourself and the other party. By researching their company and business interests, you can also get a sense of how much leverage they may have over you.
At The South Texas Business Lawyers, we’re here to represent business owners engaged in crucial negotiations. If you want help to ensure your interests are protected, to facilitate negotiations, or to help you discover more information you can use, turn to us for assistance.
Get in touch with someone from The South Texas Business Lawyers who can help by contacting us online or calling (210) 761-6294.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for educational purposes only, to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this article, you understand and acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship is formed between you and The South Texas Business Lawyers, nor should any such relationship be implied. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
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