A small business has its peculiarities. Unlike large business corporations where there is a defined structure and model of operation, a small business is relatively flexible with its needs. In like manner, when looking to get a lawyer that will either offer their legal counsel or represent your small business, you must make a choice that reflects this business need.
Finding the right lawyer for a small business can be a daunting task. Most aspects of business border on a lot of legal areas. For a small business, deciding what aspect to invest its resources in when hiring a lawyer can present a dilemma.
However, it is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. The right business lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the business world, protect your interests, and provide sound legal advice. By following some of the steps highlighted here, you can learn how to find the right business lawyer for your small business:
- Decide the type of small business lawyer you need
In a particular field of law, there are specific areas of practice. The same applies to business law. Some lawyers specialize in commercial law, which is primarily focused on businesses that offer products for sale. Then, some lawyers focus on employment law, contract law, corporate law, patent law, and even intellectual property law.
Before you can begin looking for the right lawyer for your small business, you must decide what area of law you require legal advice. This helps you narrow the list of possible services to just those you need so you focus your search efforts on those areas.
- Read reviews
There are hundreds of lawyers to choose from, and it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. One of the best ways to find the right lawyer is to read reviews from multiple resources.
These resources include online search engines, and online listing websites, among others. Look out for both positive and negative comments from people who have used the service of a particular lawyer.
This will give you an idea of the kind of experience you can expect when you hire that particular lawyer to represent your business. After reading the reviews, you can make your list of business lawyers near you whose reviews seem satisfactory to you.
- Ask around
Besides the benefits of checking online reviews and listings, talk to other small business owners or your personal network to find out who they use for legal advice. You can also ask your accountant, banker, or other professionals who may be able to recommend a lawyer.
Subsequently, research these potential lawyers who have been recommended to you to see if they seem ideal for your small business needs. If they do, book an initial consultation with them to ask more questions and also give them a briefing on what your business is all about.
- Check qualifications and experience
Just because a lawyer has experience with cases similar to yours doesn’t mean that they are the right fit for your business. Look for a lawyer who specializes in small business law. Ask about their experience in handling cases similar to yours. It is also a good idea to find out what type of experience the lawyer has had representing small businesses.
Before hiring a lawyer, do your research and look at their qualifications. Check to see if they graduated from law school and completed the necessary training to practice law in your state. If possible, check online to see if they are listed in the relevant association register of the field of law they practice.
Running these checks can save your small business from embarrassment and ruin to its reputation by hiring a phony lawyer with doctored credentials. It also saves you and your business the liability of being tagged accomplices upon discovery.
- Assess the lawyer’s commitment to understanding your business
Look for a lawyer who is willing to take the time to get to know you and your business. A good lawyer should be able to understand your unique business model and provide tailored legal advice. You can also go the extra mile to find out if there may be any conflict of interest.
If such a lawyer were to be representing a competitor client, it would put your business in a precarious position if there are litigations that will need to be settled in court. Or the lawyer may not be able to represent your best interest should there be a need for mediation and/or negotiation.
The cost or pricing of a lawyer is another way to determine a lawyer that is right for your small business. Most small businesses have limited resources and funds to stay optimally operational. Therefore, prudent spending is at the fore of their business decisions.
A lawyer that is right for your small business should be one whose retainer fee does not eat deep into your business’ finances. Factor in what it would cost your business to engage the services of certain lawyers before you hire one. Ask if the bill will be due monthly, charged hourly, or based on a flat fee for specific services.
However, this does not mean that quality services should be sacrificed to save business funds. In the long run, it will save you money to get a lawyer that is experienced and delivers quality services.
- Have a shortlist of potential lawyers
Keep a list of potential lawyers you think fit the bill for every referral you get or online search you carry out. After that, narrow down your list of potentials to a few lawyers based on the following:
- Proximity to your business office space or your location
- Response time
- Work ethic
- Trust in client-lawyer confidentiality code of conduct
This is in addition to the other criteria discussed above. You can then choose from the lawyers left after you have whittled down the list.
The best time to get a lawyer involved in your business processes is before you need legal counsel. Start the search for a business lawyer early into the start of your business.
Leverage the wealth of your network, the strength of your research, and your assessment of a potential lawyer’s competence to find the right lawyer for your small business https://interpollawfirm.com/interpol-red-notice-removal/.