Whether your business is facing a lawsuit or you are starting a new business and need help with incorporating your business, you need an experienced business attorney to handle things for you. Many new businesses don’t consider legal costs in their initial startup costs, and this is a mistake.
While no one expects to have to deal with litigation costs, it’s always a possibility with a business. Similarly, if you don’t do things properly when setting up LLCs or other business processes, you could face fines and penalties. To avoid all of this, use our tips for picking a business lawyer who will handle these areas for you.
1. Your Needs
Before you start looking for a business lawyer, consider your needs.
Do you need help with startup, incorporating your business, and getting proper permits and licenses? Or do you need a specialist to help with an audit or OSHA requirements? Or are you filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Your needs will dictate what type of attorney you need. While a general business attorney may be sufficient for basic business startup processes, if you have a more specialized issue, you’ll need a more specialized attorney.
Ask for referrals from other business owners or friends and family who may have worked with a business lawyer before. They can tell you who they recommend and who you should avoid. If you have general counsel for your business and need a specialist, ask them for a referral.
A referral from someone else in the legal profession is a strong testament to your skills and reputation.
3. Firm Size
There are pros and cons to both large law firms and small ones. Which one you pick should be based on what you need. Big firms may not be able to provide personalized service, especially if they handle large corporations and you are a small business.
Smaller firms, however, may not have all of the resources available to them that large firms have but may be able to provide more personalized service. Whichever you choose, make sure you are comfortable with what they can provide and how you will be prioritized.
4. Fee Structure
Most business lawyers will bill by the hour. Make sure you understand their billing procedures, the cost per hour, and how the billing works. Also ask if you can expect any other costs to come up, such as fees for postage, copying, travel, etc.
Before you agree to work with any lawyer, get a clear understanding of their billing process and what you will pay for.
5. Ability to Provide Training
Depending on your business, your employees may need to take compliance training. If a potential business attorney can provide this, that is hugely beneficial to your organization. When meeting with any potential lawyers, ask them if they are available for training for your employees.
Picking a Business Lawyer Is a Big Decision
Don’t just pick the first lawyer on your search page or the cheapest you can find. Picking a business lawyer is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. Consider the points above when researching potential attorneys and choose one that best meets your needs.
If you found these tips helpful, be sure to check out some of our other business and legal articles.