When you enter the world of entrepreneurship, a huge part of the battle arena is legal. From the very first step of thinking of a name, you need to know all the rules of law. You will need to sort out your accounting and file your taxes eventually.
It is a necessity for every business owner to have knowledge of the law. And one of the surefire ways you will never get caught in a huge lawsuit because of ignorance and negligence is hiring a lawyer. No matter the size of your business, you need to hire legal services. Since your bread and butter, as well as your reputation, is at stake, you can’t just choose any lawyer.
You have to look for a list of qualities that will benefit you and your business. You have to establish a good relationship with your lawyer, just like in any kind of partnership.
So how do you get to it? Do you just call random law firms in your state until one answers you? That’s possibly not the best route. Ask the people in your field if they have a recommendation for you. When you get names, ask why they recommend them.
Don’t settle for the first recommendation that you get. Shortlist at least three lawyers, then call them for a brief interview to get to know them. You are technically hiring someone to work for you. So do just as you would in any other hiring process. Settle for the best candidate that suits your business needs.
When someone claims to be an expert at something, it doesn’t necessarily translate to the length of time they spent doing that thing. If you look up the word expertise, you will trace its origins back to the word “to try” in Old French. Expertise comes with trying, actually doing. Thus, hire your lawyers based on the quality of their experience, not on how long they’ve been in the service.
If you own a small business, then look for a lawyer who has handled other small businesses. Their understanding of different business structures is what will help you navigate your needs.
2. Reasonable Fees
One of the most significant considerations to take in deciding which lawyer to get is their professional fees. By asking around, you can get an idea of how much lawyers charge for their services on an hourly basis. Of course, you have to consider whether your business can afford such fees.
One thing you should avoid is hiring a lawyer solely based on their hourly rate. Remember that lawyers who are experts in a field naturally charge more. Weigh your options properly before you make a decision. By wanting to save money, you might end up in a bigger legal disaster.
You can also try negotiating if you find an expert lawyer whose rate you cannot afford. Ask them for a sample quotation for all the services you will need and ask if you can meet halfway.
In business, the bigger your network is, the better. You should look for a lawyer who can connect you to different professionals if the need for it arises. Just in case you get implicated in a crime, the process will be easier if your lawyer knows the most affordable bail bonds services and other lawyers with expertise on jail proceedings.
If you ever need an accountant and your lawyer knows a dependable one, they can point you in the direction of the services that you need. The more experience a lawyer has, the more extensive their network. It can even include people outside of their profession.
You would want a lawyer with whom you can communicate well. Since you will be working on many things together, you must have a good rapport with them. This is why it is necessary to filter your choices and interview them in the beginning. You can tell if you will get along well with a person even over a phone conversation.
At the same time, it will help if the lawyer is compassionate. Their job is to make sure you are compliant with the law. At the same time, it would be great to have a lawyer who understands the goals of your business. When they do, the process of dealing with the legal requirements will feel like a partnership between you two.
Hiring a lawyer is a big business investment you have to make. Carefully weigh your decision because this choice is your ticket to a smooth business operation free of potential pitfalls.