Sooner or later, every business will need legal representation. An attorney can be a great asset to your business or turn into an expensive line item. Why is it so? It actually comes down to the choice of attorney. Hiring the wrong attorney can be very costly for your business and it is something you want to avoid. However, the hiring process can be intimidating, especially if a business doesn’t know what to look for. How to choose the right attorney for your business? Here are some tips that can guide you through this process.
Find out the ideal time to hire a lawyer
This is different for every business. In general, it’s better to get into this relationship as early as possible and not wait until you need a lawyer to find one. This gives you plenty of time to do your research, ask different attorneys about their rates and services and have an initial consultation to see if you are comfortable.
Focus on the type of attorney you need
Most business attorneys have the training and skills needed to handle formation requirements. This includes creating an LLC or corporation, setting up a business contractor or even forming a partnership. However, if you just need to know about tax laws or want to get a trademark, it’s best to hire a lawyer who specializes in these areas. If you are looking for long term general counsel for your business, you can find a good business attorney. Later, they can also put you in touch with a specialist if needed.
Find a lawyer who understands your niche
Sure, you need a business attorney, but if they don’t have a clue about how your business operates or your industry, you’re going to face a variety of communication challenges. This is especially true in situations where the industry is highly specialized and regulated because you don’t want to make any legal mistakes. Even if they don’t have the knowledge, hire attorneys who are willing to learn and willing to put in the effort to understand your market or niche.
Choose a lawyer who brings other resources
Good legal services don’t really come cheap. Therefore, you want to get the most out of your money. It is recommended that you hire a business attorney who can bring other resources to the table. How did you find out? Check to see if the attorney you are considering is a member of a trade association or other group that could benefit you. Do they have a network of lawyers and professionals who can refer you when you need specialist services? Are they willing to make introductions to potential customers, other clients, and strategic partners? Get detailed answers as they can help you in making an informed decision.
Make sure you understand their fee structure
You don’t need to be nervous or afraid to discuss possible fees with your attorney. Whether you are a small startup or a large business, you need to plan for your legal expenses. Traditionally, attorneys charged an hourly fee for their services, but now many of them choose to quote a flat price for a service. However, the most common approach is a combination of fixed and hourly billing. You will need to discuss your preferred arrangement with an attorney and be upfront about your expectations to avoid problems in the future.
As long as you consider these tips, you will be able to choose the best attorney from the crowd to handle all legal aspects of your business.