If you have a business, you almost certainly have consulted an attorney with your legal questions on more than one occasion. It can be comforting to know that an experienced attorney is available to answer your questions when they arise. But do you always know when to call your attorney? Or what questions to ask? Having some basic legal knowledge can help you to better identify situations in which you need to consult your attorney before these situations escalate into genuine legal problems.

For example, you likely do not consult your attorney every single time you sign a contract. Just as you likely do not consult your attorney every time you sign cellphone contracts, cable contracts and liability waivers for your children’s field trips, you likely do not contact your attorney to look over every single contract that affects your business. However, having basic contract law knowledge can help you discern when your attorney may need to get involved in the execution of a contract or the resolution of a contract dispute.

You may have concerns, for example, that certain contracts have been breached by either your business or with others you engage in business with. Breach essentially occurs when one or more parties to a contract fails to live up to their obligations outlined by the contract’s terms. If you understand that breach is a fairly broad concept, you may wish to consult an attorney any time you foresee that a breach on anyone’s part may cause your business or another party harm.

Please consider studying up a bit on basic contract law. This effort may save you a great deal of trouble down the road as you may better be able to identify when you should call your attorney and when you can likely deal with a contract-related issue on your own.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “5 Contract Terms You Really Should Know,” Brett Snider, Aug. 6, 2014