As an entrepreneur, you’re going to need a lawyer at some point. A small business attorney is a legal professional dedicated to representing small businesses and their owners. They can help you ensure compliance, reduce risk, and minimize liability, including your tax liabilities.
Small business attorneys may specialize in a particular area of law such as general business, employment and labor, tax, Intellectual property, or contracts. Lawsuits can be costly for everyone involved. For this reason, you should consider hiring a business attorney before you need one. If you wait until your company gets sued to hire an attorney, it might be too late, and you could end up paying more in litigation costs.
Here are five tips to find the right lawyer for your business:
1. Consider Your Small Business Legal Needs
“Why contact an attorney now? What are specific things you want the attorney to work on? What time frame do you need them by? Here are some common issues that small businesses engage an attorney for. Some are items that you can file for yourself, and others require legal representation.
- incorporation questions, shareholder and directorate queries, ongoing legal requirements, creating a separate corporate identity to avoid personal liability.
- registering a trademark, patent, or copyright for creative, technical, or unique ideas, logos, brands, and products.
- enforcing protected intellectual property, collecting delinquent payment for goods or services delivered, defending against cases against the business.
- drafting employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, service agreements, liability waivers.
- tax considerations, closing a business, relevant federal, state, municipal codes.”
2. Ask People You Know
“Ask the people you know for attorney recommendations. There is no better way to vet a business attorney than by getting real testimonials from people you know and trust. If you’re active on social media (and as a business owner, you should be), then you can ask everyone who follows you for recommendations, too.”
Source: Kelley Keller
3. Do Your Research
“After you’ve received attorney recommendations, you should then research each attorney and their law firms. The firm’s website should include the lawyer’s educational background, areas of expertise, years in practice, and any notable publications or transactions. More and more often, lawyers and law firms also have a social media presence that you can peruse, whether it be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or the like.
You can also review the website of an attorney’s relevant state bar association for additional information. The state bar website should verify that the attorney is currently licensed to practice law and indicate whether or not the attorney has any disciplinary history. Lastly, you can conduct a simple Google search of the attorney’s name to find out any other relevant details, whether positive or negative.”
4. Go Small
“Bigger law firms may have the branding and backing to make an impact, but are they really right for your firm? With hundreds of staff on their payroll and much bigger clients than your small offering, will you get the attention you deserve?
While you may find it with some firms, you should never overlook hiring a lawyer from a smaller practice. Smaller firms may have better customer service, a lower price tag, and provide the same quality of lawyer that you would get in a bigger company.”
Source: Smith Barid
5. Learn More About the Fee Structure
“Learning more about the attorney’s fee structure is one of the most important questions you can ask a potential attorney. As a business owner or executive with fees and budgets, the fee structure should be one of your top concerns when looking for a business attorney.
If the attorney uses a traditional hourly billing system, ask for their hourly rate for attorneys, paralegals, and law clerks. Hourly billing rates typically range from $150 per hour for a junior attorney to over $1,000 per hour for a top-rated attorney in a big-city law firm. Get all of the details of the fee agreement in writing so there will not be any surprises down the road. Ask the attorney if they are willing to provide you with periodic detailed updates on how your fees are being spent.”
Source: InPrime Legal
Do You Need Small Business Funding?
First Union Lending has been working with thousands of small businesses for years now. We want to see our clients grow and thrive. We’ll help accommodate your specific capital needs.
Some clients get funded in as little as 24 hours—we do work that quickly. Call 863-825-5626 today!