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Why Your Restaurant Needs an Attorney

June 25, 2015

Whether you are just opening your doors, or have a well-established restaurant, you can agree that the legal and regulatory requirements of running your business are a big part of day-to-day operations. 

Making sure you are complying with these regulations is a critical factor in the success of your restaurant operation. This article aims to address restaurant-specific laws and obligations and what you, as a business owner, need to be aware of in order to build and grow your business.

One of the first questions an attorney can help you answer is what kind of legal structure you should form. There are a number of options available, such as forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Corporation. Each has its own benefits to business owners and choosing heavily depends on the kinds of protection that is best for your structure. An attorney will also help you to apply for the various permits a food service business will need to legally operate. Applying for a liquor license or food safety permits, for example, can be a time-consuming and frustrating process without the expert knowledge of an attorney.

In the unfortunate event that an accident of some nature happens at your establishment, an attorney will be crucial to helping you litigate and resolve the situation in a way that is least detrimental to the business. Restaurants can be vulnerable on many levels to injuries and lawsuits. Your legal counsel will help you navigate through the complex insurance system and help you consider and obtain the best insurances to protect you and your business.

Labor laws are another aspect of business ownership where the guidance of an attorney can be critical. The various laws governed by the Department of Labor including minimum wage, tips, overtime, difference between full and part-time employees, and employing minors. A misstep in this area can land your business on the wrong end of a lawsuit or with extensive fines.

Restaurant owners and management should be sure to hire a lawyer from the ground level, if possible. This will ensure that large mistakes that may be made without effective legal counsel won’t become costly to fix in the future. The situations in which an attorney can represent you and your business are endless. To learn more about what HoganWillig can do for your business, give us a call today at 716-636-7600.