Every business owner needs good legal guidance when dealing with the issues that arise in business interactions. Timely access to experienced attorneys can provide needed legal and business guidance to assist the business owner in making sound decisions. However, few business owners can afford to hire a full-time lawyer for their company to provide vital legal and business input to decision-makers.

So, what is the business owner to do? Does one try to manage the business without necessary advice and hope for good outcomes? Does one try to get priority time on a busy attorney’s calendar when an emergency arises? Does one try to find a competent attorney for each situation where legal advice is needed? None of these options appear optimal.

A solution for business owners could be collaborating with an attorney or law firm that can manage and oversee the legal needs of the business and those of the business owner under an Outside General Counsel (“OGC”) relationship.

What exactly is an Outside General Counsel Relationship?

It is a relationship between a client, often a business owner with varied and sometimes complex needs, and an experienced attorney who understands the client’s business and personal needs, can identify issues and develop solutions, both legal and business, to solve problems and issues that arise in the general conduct of running, managing, and growing a business. The attorney often uses past business experience to combine legal and business advice to solve issues and help with the smooth running of a business enterprise. That attorney functions similarly to a Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel that you could hire to occupy an office three doors down the hall from your office if you could afford to hire one on a full-time basis. That attorney is available to you and is on call to address your legal needs in a timely manner, under a retainer relationship.

What advantages would an OGC relationship provide you, the business owner or manager?

Legal services, like any other necessary function in a business, should be a budgeted item. Each year there will be a certain amount of legal work that needs to be done for every company. Depending on the business activities, some years will require increased interaction with legal counsel, and some will require less. An attorney who knows your business, objectives, and importantly, your management approach, can provide astute business and legal counsel on the many issues you encounter and can be a great asset to you; one that can help you accelerate the growth of your business while minimizing and better managing potential risks to your business.

How could an OGC arrangement work for your business?

A knowledgeable attorney with strong business experience guiding business executives can offer legal counsel and guidance to you as the business owner on a multitude of situations and challenges you face in managing and growing your business. There are many areas in which an experienced attorney can assist you in managing your business, including:

  • Entity formation
  • LLC operating agreements
  • Board of directors or member management including periodic meetings and proper company documentation
  • Business transactions – buy, sell, merge
  • Contract drafting / development / review / management
  • Employee relations and human resources policies and procedures
  • Employee policies and handbooks
  • Outside counsel management, oversight and budget control
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Regulatory and administrative compliance and filings
  • Vendor contracting and management
  • Permit and licensing applications
  • Financial and tax management
  • Document drafting and management
  • Buying and selling real estate
  • Commercial and office leases drafting / review
  • Security policies
  • Real estate purchase/sale/leasing needs
  • General business advisory
  • Employment law matters
  • Introductions to important vendor relationships needed in your business

This listing is not meant to be exhaustive. It is offered to highlight some of the many ways in which sound legal guidance and business management advice can help you better manage your company.

Next Step:

If you, as a business owner, have struggled with legal representation needed to address the challenging and increasingly complex operating environment for your business and would like to discuss how we can help manage your legal needs and provide sound business advice, give us a call at (614) 956-5945. We would be happy to sit down with you to learn more about your business, concerns, challenges, and objectives and explore whether an OGC relationship with our firm is right for you.

Please take a look at our website at www.stentzlaw.com.

Our passion and focus are helping business owners grow profitable businesses. We look forward to speaking with you to determine how we may help you help you do that.