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How To Find the Right Business Attorney in Five Steps

Running a business requires you to understand all the possible risks involved, and one of these risks is getting sued. No matter how careful you try, being sued as a business owner is somewhat inevitable and should be expected at some point throughout the life of your business. One of the most important things required for safeguarding the future of your business is hiring a good business attorney.

The duties of these professionals can be compared to that of a business partner, as it is their duty to help you through challenging times. They all serve as great support for your company, and their presence prevents you from making silly legal mistakes in your business. From lawsuits to contracts and employment issues, it is their job to handle them.

Research shows that about 20 million people file for lawsuits in the United States in a year, and a large percentage of these lawsuits are a result of contract or employment disputes, business disagreements, and many more. Unlike the belief that having a business attorney as a small business is expensive, this can save you a whole lot of money and stress in the future by protecting you from legal troubles. To be able to enjoy all these benefits, it is important to hire the right business lawyer, and below are five helpful steps to achieve this:

Step 1: Know why You Need a Small Business Lawyer

This is the first and the most important step when it comes to hiring a business lawyer. It is advisable for you as a business owner to know the reason why you need legal assistance in your business and not just hire one because others are doing so. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to wait until you are neck-deep in legal problems before taking the step to hiring one. It is advisable to hire a business lawyer before you have any legal challenges as it could reduce the chances of their occurrences in the future.

For small businesses, there are many reasons to hire a business lawyer, and some of them are: to choose a business entity, to help you raise money through venture capital and by selling equity to investors, to draft out founder agreements which help you state your responsibility especially when starting the business with partners. Other duties of a business lawyer are contract review, handling employment issues, obtaining IP protection, especially for businesses in industries like tech, research, or health, so as to ensure that the future of your business is safeguarded.

Step 2:  Consider Business Attorneys Near You By asking for recommendations or through Legal Directories

Just like any other service, you can get the services of a good business attorney by seeking recommendations from friends, family, and acquaintances. However, it is important to have multiple options in mind before finally settling for the one that is beneficial to your business. Recommendations should be from trusted persons so you can rest assured that you are making the right decision. You can also check through local directories or the internet via legal help sites where you can find professionals from firms like CGG Law Firm.

Step 3: Compare attorneys by asking questions

After sourcing for business attorneys, the next step is to meet with them one after the other to know which one is best for you. There is a possibility that you would be offered a free half-hour or one-hour consultation; therefore, it is important to utilize it well by asking vital questions. The answer to these questions allows you to know whether or not they are the right fit for your business. Some of these questions are: what experience do you have with small businesses? Do you have experience in the specific legal issue I'm experiencing? Can you refer me to other business attorneys if need be? Will you have someone working with you on my legal case? Do you have any conflicts of interest in my business? How do we communicate? What is your fee?

Step 4: Make Fee Arrangements with your lawyer and make sure it fits into your Budget

As a business owner, especially for small businesses, budget is crucial even when looking to hire a business Attorney. It is advisable to settle for an attorney whose fees fit into your budget. The fees could vary depending on the status and experience of such a lawyer, and that is why it is important to have a budget as a guide to know the limit you are willing to spend. For small businesses, lawyers usually offer fee arrangements that are budget-friendly, and some of them include a flat fee, which is typically offered to small businesses instead of hourly rates, and a contingent fee, which is offered when your legal issue requires litigation. Equity in business is another fee business lawyers may request, and it involves taking a portion of the equity in your business as payment for their legal assistance. Depending on how frequent you will require legal assistance, seeking a retainer agreement is a wide option. This option allows you to have an attorney who is always on standby to help you at all times.

Step 5: Know When You don't need a business lawyer

The importance of a business lawyer to your business is numerous. However, there are some activities you can carry out within your business that do not require the assistance of this professional. It is important to know these activities as it could help you save lots of money. Some of the task you as a business owner can carry out without the help of a business lawyer are: writing a business plan, choosing a name for your business which will subsequently be the domain name for your business website, obtaining a license for your business, filling business formation papers, applying for loans, balancing your books, filing for tax returns, applying for an employer identification number, hiring employees or private contractors if need be, and finally, setting up business's payroll. All these activities do not necessarily require the help of lawyers; however, if you must get help, an experienced business professional can be of great assistance.

In conclusion, as a business owner, it is important for you to consider hiring a business attorney as an investment as it would save you lots of unnecessary expenses in the long run.