Small Business Attorney – How to Pick One for Your Needs. Today’s guest blog is by The Sanchez Law Firm. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Diamondback Legal.
Small Business Attorney
Running a small business is both, rewarding as well as satisfying. Regardless of how carefully you run your business, there is a fear of getting sued. Out of nearly 20 million civil cases filed every year in the US, more than half of those cases are relevant to business disputes. These disputes usually involve contract or employment-related issues.
Defending a business lawsuit can be expensive, which can put a huge financial burden on your business. Dealing with these legal matters can become very complicated and risky. So, consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable small business attorney saves you and your business from the consequence that a lawsuit may pose. Hiring a suitable business attorney is not costly! There are several ways that you can try to find the one suitable for your needs.
Here’s how to do it:
Step#1: Figure Out Why Do You Actually Want a Business Attorney?
First thing first. Before you begin your hunt, ask yourself what your needs are and why exactly you want a business lawyer. You may find your answer while considering the following circumstances:
You want to choose a business structure such as a sole proprietorship or an LLC, the attorney will guide you about the pros and cons of every structure. Or it may be dealing with other important business matter such as contract review, employees’ issues, compiling founder agreements, or obtaining Intellectual Property protection.
Not only in dealing with these issues, but also before starting a business you must hire an attorney to deal with certain legal matters beforehand.
Step#2: Begin Your Hunt through Your References or Legal Directories:
Hiring a business attorney may look similar to finding an accountant, a business or your next employee. You need to go through multiple options to find what suits your needs the best. When you have different options at hand, it becomes easier to compare and choose the one who gives satisfying answers to your questions.
The best way to find your potential business attorney is to use your own network, personal or professional. Your friends or family member can recommend you a good option whom you trust. Moreover, online legal directories are also a good source for finding business attorneys. For instance, the bar association, in many states, keep an updated list of attorneys available in the relevant areas along with their area of focus. This makes the search easier and convenient.
Step#3: Ask the Right Questions:
Once you have compiled a list, the next step is to have a meeting with them. Having one-to-one consulting session is a good opportunity to determine whether a certain lawyer is good for your business needs or not. In addition, a personal consultation session helps in building a client relationship.
Before asking questions, it is essential to know what matters the most. Consider asking the following will give you a fair idea of what to ask:
- What is their experience on the relevant legal matter?
- How long has the lawyer been practicing in the same area?
- Is there anyone else who will work on my issue?
- If need be, can they refer you to someone else?
- Is there any conflicting interest in your business?
- What is the ratio of winning similar cases?
- What will be the mode of communication?
Step#4: Work on the Budget:
After you have filtered out the list, consider your budget. The hourly rate differs with many attorneys, be sure to write down all the details of the fee agreement. According to your budget and needs, apart from the hourly basis, you can choose the type of rates such as flat fee, contingent fee, or a retainer to pay the attorney a monthly amount.
Step#5: Skip Hiring an Attorney to Save Cost, When Necessary:
Although attorneys can help in growing your small business, the cost of an attorney can affect your budget. The best way to avoid this is to know when to hire and when to skip the attorney. Because not every business matter needs an attorney. The following issues may easily be resolved with the help of an attorney:
- Seeking a business license
- Applying for a business loan
- Filing business formation papers
- Filing tax returns
- Setting up payroll
- Applying for an employee identification number
Unless the area where your business is located has complicated laws, you may be able to deal with these matters without the help of a business law attorney.