Are you looking to hire a business lawyer?
Admittedly, getting an attorney isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, especially when you’re starting a business. However, it won’t be long before you realize that having a business attorney is a smart move. From helping you select the legal structure for your business to creating contracts, you’ll benefit in many ways.
That being said, business lawyers aren’t created equal. Some are more competent than others. This means selecting business lawyers isn’t as easy as choosing a name for your business.
We’re here to help you. Continue reading to learn the various things to consider when you’re in search of the best business lawyer.
1. The Needs of Your Business
There are different types of lawyers depending on their area of specialization. They include:
- Tax lawyer
- Employment and labor lawyer
- Mergers and acquisition lawyer.
That being said, there are lots of general business lawyers. These ones don’t specialize in any specific field of business law. They’ll handle any business issue you throw at them.
Now, should you hire a general business lawyer or go for a specialized lawyer?
It largely depends on your needs.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to counsel you on a wide range of business issues, it makes sense to hire a general business lawyer. You’re more likely to need a general business lawyer when you’re starting a business because there are several legal bases to cover.
Read this article to learn more about the legal aspects to keep in mind when starting a business.
On the other hand, if you need help with a specific issue, such as employment contracts, it’s savvier to hire a business lawyer who specializes in employment and labor law.
If you’re looking to acquire another business or a merger is in the works, you don’t want a general business lawyer representing you there. You stand the best chance of making a solid deal when you have a mergers and acquisitions attorney on your team.
2. Legal Service Fees and Billing Structure
Commercial lawyers charge a fee for their services. The fee varies from lawyer to lawyer.
Therefore, it’s super important to consider your budget when you’re in the process of selecting business lawyers.
Top business lawyers in your area are going to cost more, which you might not be able to afford if your business is on a shoestring budget. You don’t want to blow your budget on legal services.
First, get the ballpark figure most business lawyers in your area are charging. Your budget should be around this figure. So, when you’re interviewing lawyers, be sure to ask them about their charges.
In addition to the legal fees, you want to know the mode of charging. Some lawyers will need you to pay an upfront cost depending on the nature of the job; others will split the payments across the period of service.
Use this information to choose a lawyer based on your business’s financial situation. If the business can’t afford to make a large upfront payment, for example, focus on finding a lawyer who offers flexible payment plans.
3. Industry Experience
Every industry you can think of has a business element to it. Even non-profit organizations need to hire commercial lawyers from time to time.
When selecting business lawyers, you want someone who has vast experience in your industry. In this instance, there’s no room to hire a generalist (a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in your industry). This is because, while business principles are essentially the same regardless of industry, there are industry-specific laws that affect the operations of businesses in that industry.
If you’re in the oil and gas industry, you want a business lawyer who has worked with lots of clients in that industry. If you’re in the solar energy industry, you want an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the industry. If you’re in the healthcare industry, you as well want a business attorney who has vast experience in that industry.
Be sure to verify any claims a lawyer makes. If they tell you that they have worked with several businesses in your industry, don’t hesitate to ask for references. Any lawyer who has had several countless shouldn’t have a problem pointing you to at least a handful of past clients.
4. Professional Reputation
A lawyer can be very experienced, well-licensed, and everything, but if their reputation is wanting, you should think twice about hiring them.
You see, a lawyer does more than just give you legal counsel. You need someone who you can connect with; someone who will make you feel that they aren’t doing what they’re doing for you just for the money.
This is where professional reputation comes in. A lawyer who listens to clients, communicates to them in a timely manner, and doesn’t quit on them abruptly is likely to build a solid professional reputation. It’s not just winning cases in court or negotiating big settlements that should matter.
A simple online search of a lawyer’s name or their law firm will give you an indication of their reputation. If they have lots of negative reviews or low ratings, that’s a bad sign. You need someone with a ton of positive reviews.
Don’t Make a Mistake When Selecting Business Lawyers
Selecting business lawyers isn’t an easy task. With so many such lawyers around, you need to be sure you’re hiring someone who knows their craft. With this guide, you’re now in a far better position to find the best attorney.
Keep tabs on our blog for more helpful tips for business owners.