Does your small business need to hire the best lawyer possible? Finding an attorney is easy, but finding the right one can be tough. If you want the best legal advice and protection, you need to know the correct steps to take.
To get you the best deal, we are here to help. Read on for our must-know 9 tips to hire a lawyer that will best suit your small business.
1. Ask Others
The best recommendations always come from those around you. You are more likely to get an honest referral from people you know than anything you find online or on a business lawyer’s website.
Ask other business owners in the local area. If you have friends who have a business, question them on who they use and what they liked about the service. You may also consider asking on social media forums.
If your business already has its own social media following, then ask your audience. They are sure to know people you can use, and they already have a vested interest in getting the right person for your business.
2. Go Small
Bigger law firms may have the branding and backing to make an impact, but are they really right for your firm? With hundreds of staff on their payroll and much bigger clients than your small offering, will you get the attention you deserve?
While you may find it with some firms, you should never overlook hiring a lawyer from a smaller practice. Smaller firms may have better customer service, a lower price tag, and provide the same quality of lawyer that you would get in a bigger company.
3. Ask Questions
When you hire a small business attorney, do not be afraid to ask them questions. In fact, they should want your business and should be telling you what they can do for you.
When calling, arrange a meeting with the lawyer. If they offer a flat fee over the phone without discussing your needs, it should start to ring alarm bells. Make sure you meet them in person to discuss what you want and expect.
4. Find a Lawyer You Can Work With
Hiring a lawyer is as important as hiring a member of your business team. This makes it imperative that it is someone you can trust, understand and work with on a daily basis. This relationship does not have to be personal, but it should be someone who makes you feel at ease, that you can understand.
If the attorney tries to give explanations in complex legal terms, then they may not be for you. Instead, find someone who can communicate your options clearly and efficiently. Make sure they are informed and up to date, so they can keep you abreast of any changes to your legal standing.
5. Review Their Public Profiles
While some lawyers may still have limited social media presence, many will understand the importance of being online. Start with their Linkedin profile. Check to see their ratings, see who has used them before, and contact these people to ask their opinion on the service.
Once you have done this, see what other profiles they have. The way they respond to questions on Twitter and Facebook can tell you a lot about their customer service or problem-solving skills. Finally, check their website and see if they have a legal blog or testimonials.
6. Discuss Fee Structures
At the end of the first discussion, if you are considering hiring a lawyer then discuss fees early. This can save a lot of problems in the relationship later down the line.
Attorneys will usually charge a flat fee based on the service, a monthly fee, or a charge by the hour. The more options they have, the easier it is to fit in with your business needs.
It is not uncommon for a small business attorney to request a retainer before beginning work for a company. This is simply financial protection for them and as long as the amount is not unreasonable or they pursue it aggressively, you should comply.
7. Compare Services
To find the best business lawyer for your needs, you need to visit more than one. Taking the first person you meet may mean you get stuck with someone who is not right for your company. By shopping around, you have time to compare and contrast their services against the quotes they have given.
8. Get a Specialist
Law is a huge, vast field that requires a number of specialisms. Tax, real estate, insurance, and estate planning all have different areas that require expertise and different types of lawyers. They change frequently and require additional training.
If you do not get a specialist in small business law, they may not have the experience to help you through difficult legal problems. In addition, they may miss vital changes as they are not up to date with current legislation.
9. Hire a Lawyer That Is Proactive
Finding a lawyer who can create legal documents is the easy part. However, as a small business, you need someone who is looking out for your interests. This makes it essential that you find someone who is a proactive lawyer.
They need to be able to anticipate any problems before they occur. They should take interest in your business and be able to recommend ways in which the law can work for you. Finally, they should be able to grow with your business, scaling up as you increase in size.
When you want to hire a lawyer, starting the search early allows you to search around. It gives you time to find the right one for you. Leaving it late may see you end up with expensive and sub-standard services.
Your first stop should be Smith Barid. We are specialists in the niche areas of small business law and estate planning. Contact us here to discuss your needs and let us grow your small business starting today.