The choice of the right business lawyer determines your company’s success in multiple ways. For starters, business attorneys should support your business in a wide range of legal matters, from business formation to bankruptcy. Most importantly, the way they represent you in court directly impacts your company’s reputation.
Here are the key steps you should take when hiring a lawyer for your business. Let’s get started!
- Make Sure They Have the Right Experience
Always keep in mind that there are many practice areas in the legal ecosystem. Most lawyers focus on the cases in specific practice areas. Choosing an attorney based on their field of expertise grants you better guidance, collaboration, and accomplishments.
When choosing a lawyer, always consider the nature of your business. Different companies and industries are involved in different activities. Unsurprisingly, their legal issues and needs vary. Precisely because of that, the specialty of an attorney should align with your company’s needs. In other words, you want to ensure the lawyer has the experience in the area of law in which you require assistance.
For example, a tax lawyer can help you with business registration for federal and state tax identification numbers. However, their services may be less efficient in the felony defense field which often requires you to hire a criminal defense attorney.
Some common law fields businesses should care about are:
- Tax law
- Bankruptcy law
- Intellectual property law
- Real estate law
- Personal injury law
- Health law
- Environmental law
If you need long-term legal advice for your business, consider hiring a reliable business law practice and build relationships with them. You can even consider hiring an in-house lawyer.
- Ask them about their Legal Team
Some business lawyers work by themselves, while others outsource certain tasks to their peers. Whether you hire a solo law practice or a big law company, each option has certain advantages and disadvantages.
For example, large law firms charge hefty hourly rates. However, they have a big team of legal professionals who specialize in various areas of business law. They use various resources, experiences, and tools to collaborate and solve your case successfully.
On the other hand, hiring solo players may be far more affordable. However, keep in mind that every lawyer specializes in certain law areas. Therefore, if your case is beyond their law field, they may refer you to someone with more experience in your area. Sometimes, you may need to hire several lawyers to address different aspects of your legal issue.
- Talk Openly about the Potential Costs
Legal advice can be expensive, so always know how much a business lawyer will charge you. Make sure your communication with them is transparent. Never hesitate about bringing their fees up. Only by understanding their billing scheme can you plan for your legal costs and make more accurate predictions.
Now, there are different types of legal fees.
For example, many lawyers charge an hourly fee. Therefore, they charge you for each hour they spend on your case.
Some attorneys also use flat fees. That means they bill a fixed amount for each service. There are also statutory fees. In some jurisdictions, a statute sets the amount a lawyer can charge for a particular legal service.
Some lawyers choose to keep their billing strategy more flexible. They combine flat and hourly fees to meet clients’ needs. For example, say your business needs legal help with a complex acquisition process. In that case, your attorney would charge you an hourly rate.
Finally, ask them about the additional costs you may need to cover in addition to lawyer fees. Some of them are filling fees, copy fees, postage, etc.
- Make Sure They Understand your Industry
When conducting interviews with a potential business lawyer, it is important to know whether they understand your industry. If they do not know how companies in your industry operate, you may face various collaboration issues over time.
Therefore, whether you are hiring an in-house lawyer or outsourcing your legal needs, always make sure they are familiar with your industry and its legal environment. That is particularly important to companies operating in regulated industries, such as retail, education, or healthcare. You will want to hire a lawyer who understands strict industry laws.
- Conduct a Detailed Background Check
Before hiring a lawyer, consider conducting background research to research their industry reputation. Start by contacting the lawyer disciplinary agency in your state. That way, you will ensure they are a trustworthy member of the bar.
You should also check their references, especially if you found them via the internet. Review their website. For example, do they share their contact, address, and service information transparently? What about useful resources, such as client testimonials, partnerships, helpful blog posts, case studies, etc.
Finally, assess their online credibility. For instance, start by checking their Google My Business reviews and ratings. There are also specialized peer review platforms, such as Martindale. That is where you can find insightful data about the lawyer and peer reviews. They are a useful resource for everyone seeking a law company in their state. Each lawyer is reviewed by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the US and Canada. The ratings indicate the attorney’s ethical standards and professional ability.
Ready to Hire the Right Lawyer for your Business?
There is no uniform approach to hiring a lawyer for your business. There are many factors to consider, ranging from your legal needs to your budget. However, there are certain rules you can follow to make an informed decision.
For starters, always check the lawyer’s credibility and check whether they have experience with businesses in your industry. Most importantly, talk to them openly about your needs, expectations, budgets, etc. That is how you will build stronger relationships with them and ensure you achieve the desired results.
I hope these insights will help you find the right lawyer for your business. If you have any additional tips or experiences to share with us, we are listening!
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.