Most small businesses cannot afford to keep in-house legal counsel, but that does not mean they would not benefit from an attorney’s services. Navigating complex areas of the law is best left to professionals. JPink Law shares five tips that small businesses owners can use to select a law firm.
- Understand the Legal Issues
Before choosing an attorney to help keep your business on the right side of the law, you must understand the legal issues that could arise. For instance, if you’re thinking about selling your business, you’ll need legal help to learn how to best enhance your negotiation position. Make sure you can confirm the facts about your company with documentation. Know what legal services are most important to your operation before hiring a lawyer so that you choose someone with the right experience to assist you.
- Seek Referrals From Trusted Sources
Word of mouth is an excellent way to find professional legal services according to the American Bar Association. Ask fellow entrepreneurs, neighbors, or family members for names of business attorneys whose work they found competent. Additionally, conduct some of your own research. Scour the Better Business Bureau’s website for trusted law offices in your area and use other search engines to find numerous lawyers to choose from.
- Meet With Several Attorneys
Schedule consultations with a few lawyers before hiring one to represent your small business interests. Ask several questions during the meeting to help you determine whether the attorney is a good fit. Those questions could include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What types of law do you practice?
- Have you represented businesses with similar interests to this one?
- How long do specific tasks typically take?
- What sets your law firm apart from the competition?
- How many lawyers are employed by the firm?
- What is your preferred method of communication?
- Understand the Billing Method
Before you select an attorney, ask about their rates. For example, does the firm charge by the hour or use a flat rate? Additionally, does the firm require a retainer? The last thing a small business owner with legal troubles needs is to receive a sky-high bill from an attorney. Understand the fees upfront to avoid any shock or confusion later. Compare the rates of several attorneys you meet with to determine the average costs in your local area. Be aware that legal fees vary by locality.
- Feel Comfortable With the Person or Firm
Typically, there are several lawyers with similar experience and fees in a local area. If this is the case for you, most people select the attorney they are most comfortable dealing with. The relationship between a trusted legal professional like Jay Pink of JPink Law and an entrepreneur will likely last for years, so feeling relaxed enough around the person to have open discussions is crucial. Your attorney should be able to politely explain the ins and outs of your legal issues to you in a way that you understand. Hire someone who is happy to take the time to do so.
AllBusiness.com points out that small businesses can face a host of legal issues, big and small. It is wise to hire an attorney to help you understand the laws governing businesses in your area before you run into any problems if you choose not to handle negotiations yourself. Find a lawyer you trust who charges a fair rate for their professional services.
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This post was guest written by Ed Carter with www.AbleFutures.org
JPink Law helps small business owners and your families provide peace of mind that your legal house is in order through taking your business to the next level and protecting your family with an estate plan. Reach out today to find out more! (209) 694-3085