General Counsel Attorney
Most small businesses do not need a full-time attorney on staff, but every business has legal needs that arise from time to time. Kraemer, Manes & Associates serves as outside general counsel to Pennsylvania businesses, assisting them with the variety of legal issues that small and mid-sized businesses frequently face.
General Counsel Areas
A general counsel lawyer has the skills to guide your business through many different areas, whether you want a business check up, an analysis of your employment practices, or business advice. Lawyers can be helpful with commercial leases, contracts, and negotiations. When dealing with a big decision, you may want to consult a lawyer before finalizing anything.
Smart business owners periodically use an attorney to “check up” on their legal issues, even when there aren’t any apparent issues pressing at the time. Just as trained doctors use expert eyes and diagnostic tools to detect problems, an experienced legal team spots lurking issues so they can be preemptively addressed. Undiagnosed legal issues can infect other areas of operations to the point where they threaten the life of the business itself, so it is important to catch and address them as soon as possible.
For most small businesses, employment practices present the biggest risk of dangerous litigation. Every day, small businesses go bankrupt defending lawsuits brought by upset employees. Potential claims include:
- FLSA wage payment violations
- FMLA medical leave violations
- Sexual harassment
- Age, disability, race, and sex discrimination
We want to be more than just legal counsel for our business clients. We want to be a trusted source of counsel for other matters as well. In addition to providing legal advice, we help our clients get off the ground with financial, accounting, tax, insurance, and marketing strategies to help make their businesses successful. We also work closely with a network of professionals who specialize in issues relating to small business owners.
In addition to these very common claims, employers need to be aware of a large number of other possible claims. Make sure that you have an experienced business attorney advise you regarding these potential legal pitfalls, especially before you take action against any employees who may be protected under state or federal law.
Types of Commercial Leases for Businesses
Commercial Office Leases
Renting office space involves more than just finding a good location. Negotiating a lease implicates numerous legal issues. Responsibilities related to each of the following should be discussed and agreed upon before any business commits to leasing office space:
- Snow/ice removal
- Heating and air conditioning
Commercial Retail or Restaurant Leases
When negotiating a commercial lease for a store or restaurant, important questions to consider include:
- Incentives – What incentives, such as rent-free periods at the beginning of the lease term, are available?
- Rent increases – How much does rent increase over the term of the lease?
- Common areas – Who is responsible for maintaining common areas?
- Signage – What common signs exist, and what is the cost of additional signage? What restrictions on freestanding signs and other displays are there?
- Build-out – How long is the build-out period? What restrictions are there on construction? How extensive will construction be?
- Competing businesses – If the property is a strip mall or other multi-unit location, will the landlord agree not to accept other similar businesses or competitors as tenants?
Whenever a claim is asserted against a business–whether it is by an employee, vendor, or customer–the decision makers need to know what to do. Should the business fight the claim, report it to an insurer, or try to negotiate a settlement? The attorneys at KM&A have the experience necessary to advise small and mid-sized businesses on any claims against them and to guide them toward the most beneficial course of action.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with our principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at email@example.com.