Did you know that the United States has the most startups around the world? There are over 71,000 startups in the U.S., second to India with only 13,125 startups.
If you are thinking about starting a business, or need help with a current company, hiring business lawyers is the solution. Keep reading to learn how to find the right one for your needs.
1. Ask Other Business Owners
Within your network of business owners, you may know someone that has a great recommendation for an attorney. When you need business lawyers, asking people you know is the best way to find the right legal help.
If you are active on social media, ask other businesses through the different social platforms for advice. You can also review a lawyer’s social media profile to form your own opinion.
Once you have a list of candidates, find them online and look into their online reviews. If the reviews from other customers match the recommendation from someone you know, the lawyer likely provides great services.
If you look into online reviews and notice that a lot of past clients are complaining about the same thing, consider it a red flag. You’ll want a lawyer that has more positive reviews than negative ones.
2. Consider the Different Lawyer Types
There are different business attorneys out there to choose from so you’ll want to think about why you need to hire a lawyer during your search.
Ask yourself why you need a lawyer. Business lawyers can specialize in any of the following:
- Starting a business
- Writing and reviewing business contracts
- Disputed and breaches of contract
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Resolving business issues and claims
- Compliance and risk management
- Real estate and property disputes
Visit this page to learn more about the practice areas of business law.
A business attorney that helps establish startup businesses is very different from those that specialize in wrongful doings. By asking yourself why you need a lawyer, you can narrow down the possibilities.
There are generalized business lawyers that can do it all. However, individuals that specialize in certain business areas are going to provide the best services.
Lawyers gain experience in business law while working for a law firm. The longer they’ve been a lawyer, the more experience they will be to hire. Experience in a specialty takes more work to learn about.
3. Discuss Fees
Hiring a business attorney won’t come cheap, but there are different payment methods that lawyers may offer. Small business lawyers should be hired with a budget in mind.
Before making a commitment to a lawyer, discuss the fees and costs to see if it fits within the price range you set for yourself. This is especially important for startup businesses just beginning to set a budget.
A lot of lawyers offer free consultations while others charge fees for the meeting. Those that do charge will do so on a flat rate basis. Other fee arrangements include:
Business lawyers don’t offer contingency fees often, but some of them do. This fee arrangement is based on a percentage of the amount awarded in a negotiation or judgment.
A business lawyer who deals with business lawsuits might work on a contingency fee basis.
There are various legal matters that can be purchased through flat fees. For example, a lawyer that specializes in writing and reviewing contracts might charge a flat fee for those services.
An hourly rate is the most common fee arrangement. A business lawyer will charge you a certain amount for every hour they work for you.
The rate that you pay will depend on the rate that the lawyer has set for themselves. The more experience and clients that a lawyer has, the more they will charge per hour.
Retainer fees are basically deposits made toward the total cost of legal services. This ensures that the lawyer gets paid. This set fee is generally based on the lawyer’s hourly rate.
4. Consider Law Firm Size
Not many business owners realize that there is a big difference between small and large law firms.
Larger firms tend to prioritize larger businesses. If you are just starting out, this will be an issue.
They also have hundreds and even thousands of clients paying a lot more than you can afford. You likely won’t be prioritized above other clients.
Small law firms tend to have lower prices, equal (or even better) attorneys, and will prioritize your needs.
No matter the size of the law firm you go with, talk to the people you’ll work with directly. You’ll want to get to know the attorney and team that works on your business matters rather than talking to who is available at the time.
5. Ask the Right Questions
Hiring a business lawyer without asking questions is a huge mistake. Dive deep into the initial phone calls you have with a lawyer. Bring a list of questions to the consultation to get an idea of exactly how a specific lawyer can help you.
Here are some of the questions you can ask a business attorney:
- What business structure should I choose?
- How do I choose a name for my business?
- How do I minimize employer risks?
- How do I protect my intellectual property?
- What contracts do I need?
There are general questions you can ask a lawyer too, such as:
- What is your rate?
- How long will my project take?
- How much experience do you have with legal matters similar to mine?
- Are you willing to get to know my business?
When you ask these queries, you’ll have a good idea of which lawyer is right for your needs.
Hiring Business Lawyers the Right Way
Business lawyers come in different shapes and sizes. To find the one that is right for your needs, consider the tips in this guide.
Ask people you know for recommendations, consider the different types of lawyers, discuss fees, consider the size of the firm, and ask the right questions.
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