For the love of your business

8 Steps to Hiring a Good Business Lawyer

Business Litigation / Business Productivity/Practices / Starting Your Business / Sticky Situations / Unexpected Business Risks

If you’ve never hired an attorney for your business, you are probably wondering how you would evaluate whether or not they would be a good fit for your company and could deliver the services you need at a price you’re willing to pay.

Here are 8 things to consider when hiring a business attorney for your company:

1.  Find a lawyer before you need one.  Hiring a business lawyer before you really need him or her will pay dividends in the long-term. Help him or her get to know your business, your business model, your plans for the future.  When problems arise (and they will), your attorney will already know your business and be prepared to act quickly.

2.  Talk about fees.  Business owners need transparency from professional service providers so they can set and stick to a reasonable budget.  Have the money talk with each candidate you are considering.  Try to find a firm that will provide flat-fee, in advance, no surprises billing guarantee so you don’t have to worry about unexpected invoices or hold back from calling your lawyer out of fear for the costly bill.

3.  Look past the big firms.  While there may be a couple of large firms that specialize in serving your industry, hiring a small or medium-sized firm could pay bigger dividends for you down the road – not just in cost savings, but in the time and attention you will get from more experienced attorneys.

4.  Know your legal team.  If you only see the partner pitching for your business once – when they are vying to sign you up – you won’t get a true feel for the people who will actually be doing the work.  Ask to meet with the attorney or attorneys who will actually be servicing your account before you sign.

5. Find a firm that’s proactive. You want a lawyer who isn’t going to wait for you to call, but has systems in place to regularly monitor how your business is doing, what legal support you may need (before you even know you do) so problems are handled before they even really arise.

6. Ask the right questions.  Don’t just call up and ask the easy question “how much do you charge?”, but also the hard questions that should be thoroughly answered before you move forward.  Contact us for our guide on what questions to ask before hiring your lawyer.

7. Make sure it’s comprehensive. Any business lawyer you are working with should be talking with you about legacy — how your business is positively impacting the world now and what will happen when you die.

8.  Look for a connection.  Your lawyer won’t be much help to you if you can’t understand the advice that he or she is giving you.  Be sure the attorney you hire can explain to you in layman’s language the legal issues confronting your business; don’t pay for advice you don’t understand.

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