Make no mistake—at some point in the life of your business, you will need to consult with an attorney. Hiring a business lawyer can go a long way toward positioning your business for success.
If you’ve never thought about hiring a business lawyer before, don’t worry—it doesn’t need to be stressful.
It’s just a matter of asking the right questions and finding attorneys who have the right experience for resolving your specific issues.
Legal issues can come up in any stage of a business’s lifecycle, so it’s always good to have legal contacts in your back pocket even if you don’t necessarily need their help on a day-to-day basis.
Some important stages where your business could benefit from an attorney’s assistance include:
These, of course, are only a sampling of the types of scenarios that could pose pressing legal questions for your business.
Entrepreneurs hiring a business lawyer can expect a confusing range of fee arrangements, including hourly rates, retainers, contingency fees, and even subscription plans.
Lawyers, however, are not allowed to charge unreasonable fees. Under the American Bar Association’s model rules—which reflect the rules of most states—some factors courts consider when judging the reasonableness of attorney rates include:
Other indicators such as the market your attorney works in and the type of firm the attorney is associated with can also impact pricing. It’s best to ask other attorneys and professional contacts in your market for more insight.
When shopping for legal services, your end goal is to find a lawyer or law firm that has experience in—and a successful track record with—the types of matters you’re dealing with. There are a number of other factors, however, that can impact your decision. Some other considerations you should keep in mind when interviewing attorneys include:
Yes, you’ve got a number of factors to consider when hiring a business lawyer, but don’t let this frustrate you.
Start by asking your professional contacts, family, and friends for referrals, and start setting up informational meetings with specific attorneys and firms. It’s important to start this process as soon as possible, as you don’t want to rush this process while you’re under the time crunch of responding to a legal action.
In the end, regardless of where you’re at with your business, it never hurts to consult with an attorney.