Running a fitness business isn’t easy. Just like any other kind of business, you can’t know everything you need to know to build a successful business in the fitness industry. We all need a little help to make sure our businesses are protected and to make sure we have a team behind us who has our best interests in mind and can offer great advice!
So why do you need an attorney?
To advise you on issues you and your business will face over the course of its lifecycle. From before its existence when you are determining what legal entity (whether to form as a limited liability company or a Corporation). An attorney can assist you with draft partnership agreements for business ownership situations where there is more than one partner. They can also help you with merging with or acquiring another business.
There is so much more that an attorney can assist with, including:
- To make sure any contracts and agreements you enter into on behalf of your company are in your best interest.
- To review and draft any legal documents that you need for your business
- To help educate you about the legal aspects of your business
- To help you understand the legal implications of independent contractors as opposed to independent contractors.
- Assisting you and advising you if you need to terminate a contract or an employee’s employment.
- In case you are sued or subject to legal action (no matter whether or not there are grounds to sue you)
- To represent you and your business in legal matters, transactions or dealings.
Basically, any time you have questions or concerns about potential business relationships, transactions or actions, it’s a good time to reach out to your attorney to discuss the matter and how it might impact your business. The right time is before you take that action or make that decision. An ounce of prevention is absolutely better than a pound of cure when it comes to consulting your attorney.
Contracts, an Attorney, and Your Fitness Business
Sometimes trying to save money and not hiring an attorney can be costly.
Another day, another contract. Especially in the early stages of a business, you may find yourself signing contracts for vendors, a lease for a studio, contracts with clients and contractors. Despite these contracts having such a significant impact on the work of your business, businesses rarely have an attorney review their contracts before they sign them.
Attorneys can offer much more helpful assistance prior to signing contracts if you ask them! They can often identify clauses that could cause problems in the future. These types of clauses often relate to responsibility for liability, assignment of rights to third parties, termination of the contract, or dispute resolution. They will often also check to make sure that the contract is not unreasonably weighted against you. Their goal is to advise you about what is in your interest.
Sometimes things don’t go to plan. Before you take action relying on a signed contract, like withholding payments or terminating a service or contract, be sure to speak with an attorney. It may be that the contract does not permit your business to terminate the contract before you give the other party to the contract a chance to “cure the breach” (basically, rectify their actions).
Need a professional negotiator? Your attorney may be able to represent you and your business interests in a negotiation. Sometimes having a professional involved is helpful, especially if you are prone to allow your emotions to get the best of you.
A long-term relationship. Each interaction with your attorney should be about both the transaction or decision at hand and developing a better understanding of each other. A great business attorney will take time to learn about your business operations so they can offer frank and helpful advice. Over time, they will come to understand your business goals and offer suggestions that will help you both become more efficient and effective as you grow your business. These 7 tips will help you find an attorney for your fitness business.
Over time, a good relationship with an attorney will mean that they will tell you straight if you can handle a situation without their involvement. However, even if you think you can handle a legal issue on your own, strongly consider briefly consulting your attorney to see if they see the issue the same way. They may identify issues that you haven’t considered.
Don’t put off engaging an attorney
This isn’t just about getting sued; it is about not waiting until you have a problem to seek out someone who can help you prevent problems or resolve them! The reality is that as a fitness business owner, an attorney is a resource you can utilize throughout the life of your business. An attorney is a necessary team member to help you protect your interest and those of your business. Surprisingly, perhaps, attorneys can save you money by solving problems before they happen – the cost of consulting an attorney for contract review, negotiation, and document drafting is far less than the cost of defending your business in litigation. As a consequence, it’s important to factor in the cost of engaging an attorney into the cost of doing business.
Don’t wait until you are served with a lawsuit! Whether as the plaintiff or defendant, lawsuits are expensive financially and psychologically. Make sure your contracts and legal relationships protect your business and you have someone in your corner when you need advice or have questions.