Regardless of the reason, every business will need an attorney. There are many ways to hire legal representation. Two of the most common ways are on staff lawyers and contracted lawyers either held on retainer or hired when needed.
Whichever choice is up to the business owner and which best fits the financial needs of the company. But, there is more to choosing an attorney for your business than financial needs. Choosing an attorney can be intimidating. Arming oneself with a few tips and key pieces of information will help to lessen the intimidation.
Know When to Hire a Lawyer
Here’s a hint, if you’re currently being sued or in some other type of legal trouble it’s too late. Don’t wait until you need a lawyer to hire one.
The sooner in the process of building your business your seek legal counsel the better you will be. A business attorney will be able to ensure you stay compliant with all laws and regulations every step of the way.
This will go a long way to protecting not only your business but also yourself from a simple mishap that could cost you everything.
Not all lawyers are the same. Obviously. But, neither are all attorney’s who represent businesses the same. Some excel in small businesses, some in larger corporations, and some even cater to specific industries or niches.
It’s important to know what type of lawyer you will need and what you will need from this lawyer. Will you need someone who is an expert on corporate taxes? Maybe, a lawyer who will help make sure you have all the required licenses, permits, and paperwork?
Identify where you fall short in your legal knowledge and experience. Use that to find a business attorneythat will best meet those needs.
When choosing the right lawyer for your business needs there are a few key factors to look for. Running an internet search, consulting your network of friends and family, and reading reviews and testimonials is great for narrowing down your search.
But, choosing the right attorney that best meets your needs will most often come down to the interview. Remember you are contemplating on hiring this person to perform a service for you. They should be interviewed like any other potential employee.
Ask about their experience and be specific. Don’t ask about their experience in business law in general. Instead, ask if they have experience handling your specific needs.
Along with experience, it’s also a good idea to find out how much they know about your industry or niche. As well as how much they are willing to learn about it. A lawyer who is willing to learn about your niche shows dedication to you and their work.
Also, be sure during the interview to get a feel for whether or not he or she would be a good fit for your company. Whether on staff, retainer, or contract, you will need to work closely with them. Be sure you can work together cohesively and effectively.
Billing is one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right lawyer for your business. This isn’t in reference to finding the right lawyer at the right price. Rather finding the right lawyer for the right form of billing.
Some lawyers will charge a flat fee for most minor filings, while others will charge by the hour and bill monthly. Be sure to ask about their billing and an explanation of the breakdown of their invoices or statements. Are they willing to be flexible?
If their billing doesn’t work for your business you may need to either rethink your financial situation or find a different attorney.
Choosing the Best Attorney
There are many things to consider when choosing the right attorney for your business needs. Some factors seem fairly obvious: price, billing, and even the right type.
Everyone, now and again, needs a reminder. But, there are some factors that should be considered as equally as the others. Knowing how much experience a lawyer has with your particular needs, his or her willingness to learn your industry, and how well you will work together. Choosing the right lawyer is similar to choosing the right employee. They have to work well within the company, work close to the price your willing to pay, and meet all that is required of them.