Selecting the right small business lawyer is essential when starting or operating a business. These attorneys work with companies to address both routine legal matters and less common issues that arise. From creating employment policies to collecting on past-due invoices, a great small business lawyer can help ensure the success of your business while you focus on what’s important. Here are four tips you can use today when selecting your trusted small business lawyer.
Ask a Friend
When looking for any type of service, you should ask a friend who they use. This can be valuable on two levels. First, based upon your friend’s experience, you will likely be introduced to a quality attorney who can deliver the legal advice you need. Secondly, if the referral doesn’t work out, (e.g. price, availability, location) the attorney can introduce you to an associate or coworker who is a better fit. People do business with people they trust, but more importantly, people maintain relationships with those who deliver. Talking with friends who have successful attorney relationships will help. Some of the best business decisions are made with the help or advice you receive from the solid friendships you’ve built. The best place to start looking for your small business lawyer is with friends.
Pick an Attorney with Business Experience
Everyone knows that experience matters. But think about how valuable it would be to have an attorney who is not only skilled in litigation, but who either owns his own business, or has in the past. Attorneys who either run their own law office or have owned their own business in the past have first-hand knowledge of the keys to legal success. No one understands meeting payroll, negotiating contracts, or creating sound policy better than someone who has experienced it. Being a small business owner can be rewarding but often overwhelming, so finding an attorney who can help you organize and structure your business model in a way that protects your interests, relieves unnecessary worry, and gives you a solid foundation should be your ultimate goal. A small business attorney who runs his own business, or has in the past, is your best bet for meeting such goals.
Choose an Attorney with the Right Fee Arrangement
Money matters. It matters to the small entrepreneur selling crafts online as much as it matters to the CEO running a multi-million dollar corporation. Small business owners must be price conscious, and that means finding a lawyer with the right hourly rate or fee structure to fit your needs. Interview the fresh law school graduate charging $100 an hour as well as the experienced attorney who charges $400 per hour. Ask the difficult questions. What are you getting for the money? Remember you are building a relationship, not just paying for services. This is the person you will turn to when things are usually the most difficult. Working with someone who fits your legal needs is critical, but finding an attorney with the right fee arrangement is equally important.
Select the Lawyer Who Answers Her Phone
It seems like an odd thing to have to consider, but just like every other service provider, it’s possible that an attorney can spread themselves too thin. Nothing creates more anxiety than a business owner having to make a critical decision that requires an attorney’s expertise, but the attorney isn’t available. When interviewing a small business lawyer, ask them what their average response time is via email and phone. Ask them how quickly you can expect help if an emergency arises. You are putting trust in someone to help advise you on what could be considered your most prized possession. Every small business owner invests much more than money in their business, therefore, you should choose an attorney who will be able to accommodate you as your business grows.
At Sodoma Law, our attorneys will not only meet your small business needs, but create solid partnerships to help guide you through the common legal issues facing all businesses. Contact us today to begin forming the strong foundation your business requires.