Like almost any business venture, legal advice is generally used when forming a joint venture marketing agreement. This is the wisest way to go to protect the company's assets in the event the business venture is not successful. While a well-planned out venture generally has no reason that it should fail, it is always important to protect the company. On the rare occasion that two businesses are only going to interact for a very short period of time and there are not any high risks involved with the project, then legal council is probably not necessary. For the vast majority of joint business marketing ventures, however, it is wise to include legal advice.
Choosing an attorney
Selecting an attorney for the joint business marketing project can be a difficult process. The company that initially comes up with the plan will probably want legal advice to help them draw up the outline for the project. However, it is not a good idea to approach the other company under the assumption that the project only needs one attorney. The offer for the other company to have its own legal council should always be extended. This way the second company does not need to fear they're going to somehow be tricked. The second option would be for either company to use their own company's legal counsel, but instead hire outside, impartial legal advice. This way the cost of the attorney could have split without one party being unfairly represented. However, hiring an outside attorney will increase the cost of the project. If both companies already have their own attorney, then that is usually the best option to choose.
The most important stage of any joint venture is to have legal counsel present when both parties sit down to draw up the plans for their project. When making agreements such as which company is going to pay for what and how much revenue each company will earn, it's very important to have binding legal contracts that can not result in an unfair advantage to one party or the other. If both parties are sharing the cost of legal counsel, then it is obviously only necessary for the one attorney to look the plan over. If each party decides to have its own attorney, however, it is important that both companies' legal counsel look over the plan and that they both agree that it will work.
After the initial plan has been approved by both companies and the legal counsel, it is up to the individual businesses to decide whether they wish to keep the legal advice on board for the rest of the project. Obviously if both parties are using company attorneys, then it only makes sense to keep them on hand. However, if both parties are comfortable with dismissing the legal counsel after the plans for the business venture have been agreed upon, then doing so will save both companies money. In the end, the most important thing with legal advice is that both parties feel comfortable with the situations they are agreeing upon and that both companies' assets are protected.