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Why You Need a Business Start Up Attorney
Similar to how illnesses often necessitate the treatment of a doctor, legal issues often require the expertise and guidance of an attorney. Like medicine, law is complex, specialized and constantly evolving. Understanding laws, as well as legal systems and processes, not only takes years of studying and an advanced degree. It requires continuing education to ensure that attorneys are aware of new laws and stay abreast of changes to existing laws.
Although the increasing availability of legal services on the internet has made it easier to access basic legal information, these services are no substitute for the expert advice of a licensed, local attorney. Typically, online legal services offer only national perspectives, whereas local attorneys are able to provide clients with market-specific, regional insight and the personalized guidance needed to resolve a particular legal issue.
While self-representation in business matters may work in some instances, self-representation, or “Pro Se” (the official term for legal self-representation), is not always allowable. Here are some important considerations:
- In Colorado State Courts, non-attorney officers of a closely held entity (a business with no more than three owners) may only represent the business (Pro Se) in a legal matter if the amount at issue in the controversy is $15,000 or less.
- In Colorado Small Claims Court, a Corporation or LLC may be permitted to represent itself in a lawsuit. Self-representation is allowed 1) for partnerships by an active general partner or an authorized full-time employee; 2) for unions by an authorized active union member or full-time employee; 3) for for-profit corporation by one of its full-time officers or full-time employees; 4) for associations by an active member or full-time employee of the association; 5) and any other kind of organization or entity by one of its active members or full-time employees or, 6) in the case of a nonprofit corporation, a duly elected non-attorney officer or an employee.”
- In Colorado Federal Court (United States District Court for the District of Colorado), a corporation or LLC cannot represent itself in a lawsuit.