If you have never hired a lawyer before, whether for your personal life or for business, the process can be intimidating. But sooner or later, every business is going to need some form of legal representation, and it’s best to know the right way to go about it to ensure your lawyer doesn’t become just an expensive line item.
Here are 7 tips when hiring a lawyer for your small business:
- The sooner you find the right lawyer and establish a strong, trusting relationship, the better off your business will be. You may not need extensive legal help all the time, but you will find you will need tips and advice quite often, so having someone on speed dial will be super helpful.
- Make sure you know what type of lawyer you need. If you want someone who can do it all, a business lawyer is your best bet, but if you think you will only need some advice and information when it comes time to do your business tax, or you only need assistance filing a trademark, you can look for an attorney who specializes only in that one area.
- Find a lawyer who has extensive experience or vast knowledge in your market or niche, or is at least willing to learn more about it. There are bound to be some communication issues along the way if your attorney knows nothing about how your industry operates.
- Pick a law firm that is the correct size. Generally speaking, larger law firms will have you on the back burner as a small business; low paying equals low priority.
- Good legal services aren’t cheap, so ask a few extra questions before hiring an lawyer to see if there are any additional services or resources they can bring to the table to help get bang for your buck. Does the firm hold networking events that could be beneficial to you? Are they willing to make introductions between you and other services providers that could be mutually beneficial?
- If meeting face to face isn’t a priority, consider looking for a lawyer outside of your city to save some money.
- Make sure you are comfortable bringing up money with your lawyer, and that they are equally as comfortable to discuss their fees with you. If your lawyer seems uncomfortable, there may be some hidden costs they are not telling you about.