Not all lawyers go to the courthouse. But that’s what we see in movies and TV because (a) attractive, well-dressed people engaging in witty courtroom banter is interesting, and (b) a show about some guy drafting bylaws would be worse than Gigli and Cop Rock combined. But boring and all, you prolly need a good ol’ transactional attorney if:

  • You are a sole proprietor;
  • You have not formed a business entity with the Secretary of State;
  • You have a handshake deal with one or more co-owners;
  • You don’t have a written agreement with co-owners (or you played lawyer and did a cut-and-paste number from some online form);
  • You’re not sure what happens to you or the business if you start fighting with a co-owner;
  • A co-owner has passed on to the great gig in the sky;
  • Somebody has put money in the business, and how that money is characterized ––a loan, a capital contribution, or something else –– depends on who you ask;
  • You are considering buying or selling a business;
  • You have money and stuff that you would like to hang on to if you get sued; or
  • (God forbid) You get legal advice from your CPA.

If you’re on this list, then do yourself a favor and find a business attorney. I know a guy.