A good attorney is a crucial asset to a small business. There are many legal scenarios in which small business owners find themselves needing legal counsel. It’s never to early to begin research business attorneys. You should consult a business attorney if you’re considering incorporating your business or forming a partnership, if you’re signing a lease or trying to get a bank loan, or if you’re dealing with employee issues. Generally, if you are signing a contract or making an agreement, you’ll want to discuss it with your business attorney.
How do you go about hiring a business attorney? Other business owners are oftentimes the most helpful source for referrals. Other business owners are the best equipped to understand the issues you may have with a business attorney, and have experience working with them. Bankers, accountants, and other professionals often come into contact with attorneys regularly. Most would be more than happy to suggest a trustworthy attorney.
Online reviews can be helpful, but don’t base your decision on them. Lawyers pay to be on sites like lawyers.com and findlaw.com. Martindale.com provides attorney ratings by other lawyers, but the attorneys themselves write the additional information there. The Internet can be a useful tool for researching potential attorneys, but it is always better to find actual people who have worked with a particular attorney.
Obviously, experience is one of the most important things to look for when hiring a business attorney. The attorney you choose to work with should also be educated with the latest rules and regulations for businesses. They change every year, so make sure your attorney is up-to-date. Also, look for an attorney who will be with you for the long haul.
Once you’ve narrowed the list to the top candidates, ask for references. Do they have any clients who may be experiencing similar issues? Also, discuss fees up front. You don’t want to be surprised when the bill arrives. In addition, you’ll need to find out what is billable. Will a two-minute phone call cost you? Again, it’s important to find out, as best you can, what your bill will look like. The most expensive attorney isn’t necessarily the best; however, it is worth it to pay for that two-minute phone call if it’s with someone you can trust to help your business.
Hiring a good business attorney is a crucial decision for businesses. Choosing the right attorney can make any legal processes much easier and less of a headache. Paying for good legal counsel is much cheaper in the long run than paying for costly mistakes.