Did you know that there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States? If you have a small business and are considering hiring a business lawyer, you are in the right place. There are a few things that every business owner should understand before hiring an attorney.
Keep reading to learn more tips about finding the best business lawyer.
What Are Your Legal Needs?
Every business is a bit different which is why you will have to asses what the nature and objectives of your business are before searching for your attorney. Doing an assessment will help you determine which legal expertise is the most valuable to you.
If you own a technology company then a corporate attorney or a firm that specializes in property rights and licensing might be best. If you run a service business then you might just want an attorney that is an expert in contracts to help you with drafting agreements and finalizing them, also with keeping the proper corporate records.
You can answer the following questions to help you define the legal needs that your company has before contacting a reputable company like Weisblatt Law Firm.
- What legal guidance does my company need to help avoid any future liabilities?
- What are my long term business goals?
- Does my business need to raise more capital?
- Do I need to restructure the existing debt or capitalization that my business has?
- Does the business need to lease any commercial property?
- Will I be selling the company in the future?
- Will I be making the company public in the future?
- Does the business need additional subsidiaries or additional divisions?
The questions above can lead you in the right direction when you are looking for a business lawyer. Knowing the above will help you narrow down your search and will keep you from ending up with an attorney that can’t help you with your business needs.
Asking fellow business friends for referrals is one of the best ways to find an attorney you can trust. The goal is to find an attorney that is diligent, competent, and trustworthy. When you are getting referrals it can make it easier to find lawyers with those qualities.
More than likely you will be hiring a transactional corporate attorney for your business unless your business is involved in a civil proceeding or a criminal one. A transactional lawyer is able to help you with day to day business operations and other business matters.
They will be able to advise you in all the aspects of your business dealings such as forming your business, operating your business, business plans, business strategies, selling a business, making an initial public offering, etc. An M&A (mergers and acquisitions) attorney might be very useful because they have to have a working knowledge of multiple business dealings.
Even if you do not plan on having any acquisitions in the foreseeable future their knowledge might be worth hiring them. They are typically well versed in things like accounting matters, intellectual property, environmental matters, taxes, and insurance.
Once you have referrals and a list of attorney’s it is time to start the research phase. You want to look at their website and look for their educational background, how many years they have been practicing, their law expertise, and any notable transactions and notable publications.
Nowadays most attorney’s also have a social media presence that you can check out. Do not forget to also check out the state bar website to verify that the attorney is currently licensed to practice law. On the same website, you can tell if the attorney has had any disciplinary history.
After you narrow your list down to a handful of attorney’s it is time to meet with each one to finalize your decision. More than likely the initial consultation will be free and if you end up hiring the attorney, double-check your first invoice to make sure that it does not include the initial consultation in there if you were told it would be free.
During this initial consultation, you want to fully explain what your business goals are and the role that you expect your attorney to fulfill. Make sure to ask as many questions as you need to determine whether the attorney is competent to fulfill your business needs.
Ask the attorney to give you details on how their attorney-client process works and how much they will be involved in the process or if they will be delegating a lot of work to others. This will help you manage your expectations.
You will definitely want to discuss how much their fees are during the initial consultation. This will make it easier for you to narrow down between your list of attorneys if you have a specific budget in mind. Attorneys are able to propose a variety of fee structures to help you fit your needs.
Sole practitioners will have the most leeway with adjusting their fees and getting creative with how they will charge you. Decide whether a monthly fee, flat fee, or hourly fee is best for you and do not be afraid to let them know what you are looking for and what you prefer.
Are You Ready to Hire a Business Lawyer?
Hopefully, now that you know more about hiring a business lawyer you can confidently hire an attorney to help you with your business needs. Choosing the right attorney won’t be an overnight decision and will take some work but it’s important to not make a rushed decision. During your initial consultations see if this person is someone you feel you can trust and comfortably deal with in the future.
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