Sooner or later, every business will need legal representation. A lawyer can either be a huge asset for your business or turn out to be just an expensive line item. Why is it so? This actually depends on the choice of a lawyer. Hiring the wrong attorney can be very costly for your business and it is something you want to avoid. Yet, the hiring process is very intimidating, especially if the business doesn’t know what it is looking for. How to choose the right lawyer for your business? Here are some tips that can guide you during this process.
Figure out the ideal time to hire a lawyer
This is different for every business. Generally speaking, it is better to establish this relationship as early as possible and not wait until you need the services of a lawyer to find one. This gives you plenty of time to do your research, ask different lawyers about their rates and services and do an initial consultation to see if you are comfortable.
Focus on the type of lawyer you require
Most business attorneys have the training and skills needed for dealing with formation needs. This includes creating an LLC or corporation, drafting business contractors or even putting together a partnership. But, if you just need to know about tax law or you want to get a trademark, it is better if you hire a lawyer specializing in these areas. If you are looking for long-term general counsel for your business, you can find a good business lawyer. Later on, they can also put you in touch with specialists when needed.
Look for a lawyer who understands your niche
Sure, you need a business lawyer, but if they don’t have any clue about how your business operates or your industry, you are going to face various communication challenges. This is especially applicable in situations where the industry is highly specialized and regulated because you don’t want to make legal mistakes. Even if they don’t have the knowledge, hire a lawyer who is willing to learn and ready to make the effort to understand your market or niche.
Select a lawyer who brings other resources
Good legal services don’t really come cheap. Therefore, you want to get the most bang out of your buck. It is recommended that you hire a business lawyer that can bring other resources to the table. How can you figure that out? Check if the lawyer you are considering is members of trade associations or other groups that can benefit you. Do they have a network of lawyers and professionals they can refer to you when you need specialist services? Are they willing to make introductions to potential customers, other clients, and strategic partners? Get detailed answers because they can help you in making the right decision.
Make sure you understand their fee structure
You shouldn’t be nervous or afraid of discussing any potential fee with your lawyer. Whether you are a small startup or a large business, you do need to plan for your legal costs. Traditionally, lawyers charged hourly for their services, but now a lot of them have chosen to quote fixed prices for a service. However, the most common approach is a combination of fixed and hourly billing. You need to discuss your preferred arrangement with the lawyer and be upfront about your expectations to avoid problems in the future.
As long as you consider these tips, you will be able to cull out the best lawyer from the crowd for dealing with all legal aspects of your business.