Starting and launching a new business can be overwhelming due to all of the details you must handle. In addition to doing the actual work of your business, there are also administrative tasks that can’t be ignored. Particularly important, are your business entity formation, registration, insurance and potential contracts. When it’s time to form your business, you should seek the advice of a business attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the legal details.
In launching a start-up, a business attorney may be the last thing on your mind. In reality, however, hiring an attorney can do wonders for your business as they can act as your legal counselor not only at the entity formation stage but also as you develop your business and grow. Ideally, the attorney who helped you form your business should be able to scale with you in the various legal arenas. Whether it be contracts, intellectual property, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions or other business legalities, your attorney should be considered an extension of your team.
Given the importance of an attorney’s role in your business, it makes sense to say that you have to be selective about your decision. Check out these tips that you can utilize during your search to ensure you hire the right business attorney.
Assess Your Legal Needs
Before you begin looking for an attorney, you must assess your company’s legal needs, which can vary based on your firm’s size, type, and industry. While you may be initially considering an attorney to help you establish your company structure, it would pay off, in the long run, to consider what additional legal needs you will have as you grow.
Ask About the Fees
Different lawyers and firms can have different billing practices, so it is helpful to learn about this from the very start. In your initial consultation with an attorney, be sure to ask about pricing to set your expectations. You may ask: “Do you engage by the hour, retainer or project?”
Look for Experience
A business attorney may have impressive credentials, but at the end of the day, the experience can speak volumes about their skill and expertise. More specifically, hiring an attorney who has experience working with clients in your industry will be extremely beneficial for your company. Knowing this gives you the assurance that an attorney understands the important legal decisions you will need help in and has handled cases similar to what you may be facing. They may also foresee potential legal challenges looming on the horizon for which they can advise you because they have experience.
Follow Your Instincts
Objective criteria like qualifications and experience are undoubtedly important decision factors, but the impression you get from meeting an attorney can also guide you in making a decision. For example, observe how an attorney communicates during your consultation, and see how they respond to your questions. If you feel any apprehension or hesitation about hiring one particular lawyer, it is best to look for someone as your instincts can say a lot more than you realize.
Also, be mindful of your impression of him or her regarding developing an ongoing business relationship. If you feel you can work with them as you grow, that is important to note.
Look for Referrals
Getting referrals from people who have experience working with business attorneys or knowledge about business law will be extremely helpful in your search. Doing this can give you a head start or a good place to start with, especially if you are launching your first business and thus unfamiliar with reputable lawyers who can help your business. It is also fine for you to ask for references once you find one you like.
The idea of hiring a lawyer may not be on your mind when establishing your business, but you will do yourself a favor if you do. From getting assistance at the beginning of your business to receiving professional advice on critical future decisions, you can be sure that an attorney will help your business stay on track with legal requirements.
Do you need help forming your business entity? Contact me today for a free consultation.