Hiring a business litigation lawyer is not difficult, but it does require a little bit of work on your part. We promise it is worth it in the end; a business attorney adds a lot of value to a business, especially startups and business litigation. To help make finding a business lawyer easy, our business litigation attorneys have compiled the 5 essential steps.
Step One: Know What You Need From Your Business Lawyer
You need to have a good understanding of what you need your business lawyer to do. This will set the criteria for who you will hire. We will break this down into two sections:
What Do Business Lawyers Do In General?
A business lawyer is a bit like your company’s general partner. For example, the business litigation attorneys in Orange County at the California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer look after the general health and wellbeing of your company and conduct regular checkups to make sure things are running smoothly. If you need to, they will refer you to specialists who might help you with particular issues outside of their expertise. Your business lawyer may have additional skills, like intellectual property law or tax law, but otherwise, they will be a generalist.
A business lawyer will help with the following:
- Determining which entity is best for your business
- Providing general business resources and advice
- Ensuring you are set up for legal compliance and tax efficiency
- Reviewing and negotiating contracts
- Protecting intellectual property
- Negotiating commercial real estate contracts
- Proactively preventing lawsuits
What Do I Need My Business Lawyer To Do?
You need to think about what type of help you need from a business lawyer. If your company is sued by a former employee for discharge in San Diego, you will need to hire a wrongful termination lawyer in San Diego to defend the lawsuit. This will be specific to your business based on your industry, the type of business you run, and your business structure, among other things. There can be many different factors that need to weigh into your decisions. You may need a business lawyer to create a partnership agreement that provides for a whole range of situations that may occur while jointly owning your company.
Think of how your business may differ from other businesses around you or in your industry. That will give you an idea of the factors that you need to consider. Prioritize the skills that you need the business attorney to have so that you can find the best possible fit for your needs.
Step Two: Search For a Business Attorney
Now that you have a clear idea of your business needs, the search begins. When looking at potential candidates, compare them to the list of what you need from a business lawyer to see if they would be suitable.
There are two ways people tend to search for business lawyers:
- Referrals from other business owners
- Legal directories online
Both are great ways to find local business lawyers; use whichever works best for you. Many people use a combination of both.
Step Three: The Interviews
Once you have found a handful of local business attorneys who would suit your needs, it is time to interview them. You have determined that on paper they are suitable for your business, but it is time to see if they are a good match in terms of personality.
The worst thing you can do is dread calling your business lawyer, so you need to find someone that you are happy to work with. This means that their personality is just as important as their skills. If you want someone who will soften the news and cheer you up with a joke, then look for a lawyer that does so. If you want someone who is the best in their field and don’t mind a lack of bedside manner, then look for that. Every business owner will work in a different way, and so too will every lawyer.
Prepare a set of questions that you will ask each business lawyer that you interview. Ask about their skills and experience, as well as questions that will help you to learn more about their work ethic and communication style. Business lawyers are expecting an interview, so don’t worry if you feel like you are conducting a job interview.
Step Four: Don’t Forget to Ask About Fees
One guaranteed question on every business owner’s list should be, “how much do you charge?” Talking about money can be difficult, but it is an important factor to consider when you are hiring a business lawyer. You do not want to find the perfect attorney only to realize that it will cost you an arm and a leg every time you need their help.
Ask potential business lawyers how much they charge and what fee structures they use. Get an understanding of how much it may cost you to receive the help you need to set up your business correctly and how much it will take to maintain it.
Business lawyers are happy to negotiate a little. There are hundreds of us in each city, so to stay competitive in a buyer’s market, we do need to negotiate. Talk to us about your budget expectations and what help you need so that we can choose the best agreement.
Step Five: Do Not Call Your Business Attorney If You Do Not Need Their Help
We see a lot of business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they are paying us X amount of money per month; therefore, they need to talk to us once a week to get their money’s worth.
Business lawyers are there to help you and answer any legal queries you may have. We are happy to consult on matters where you want to run a decision by us and ensure there are no legal implications. However, there are a number of things we cannot help you with, either because we don’t have the expertise or because it is something that you can do it easily yourself.
Work with your business lawyer to work out where they can be the most helpful to your business. This will help you to allocate your legal budget wisely and to foster a strong professional relationship with your attorney.