Sponsored by Cloud Peak Law:
When you’re starting a new business, there are many things that you need to keep in mind. From your clients, your suppliers, and your employers to the government, laws, and market information, there are numerous things you need to consider before you can start your operations.
One of the most crucial issues is the question of hiring an attorney. Working and dealing with a lawyer can be a big headache. However, having a lawyer by your side at the start of your business gives you many benefits and helps you avoid all sort of legal issues. With that in mind, listed below are some of the things every entrepreneur needs to know before hiring a business attorney.
Compatibility with Your Lawyer
The first thing you should look for when hiring a business lawyer is how well they understand your business mission and your business scope. You don’t want somebody who doesn’t understand the goals and visions of your company. Look for somebody who is competent, readily available, and just as eager to help you as you are to be successful.
Pick somebody who is an expert in the industry you’re planning to operate in. Hiring somebody who specializes in environmental law would give you the right kind of expert help. Don’t forget to check all attorneys’ track records and the companies they’ve worked with before.
Why You Need a Lawyer
A lot of entrepreneurs don’t want to bring in a lawyer in their business at the initial stages, but that’s not necessarily a good idea. Getting a lawyer’s help in the early stages will help you figure out a lot of things without having to make mistakes you’ll later regret. They can provide you with a guideline of what you can and cannot do before making any important business decisions. This include dealing with the suppliers, retailers, forming an LLC, or understanding government regulations.
Violating state laws and getting into a legal hassle can have serious repercussions especially if you’re just starting out. Having a lawyer will help ensure your business follows all the state regulations. Business attorneys can also settle internal issues within your organization, and they can give you useful insight on how to handle your business deals. They can also help etch out your partnership agreements and terms and conditions regarding company shares and more as your business grows.
The Cost of Hiring a Lawyer
Small business lawyer fees can rage from $150 to $1,000 per hour. While the cost may vary from firm to firm, there is a practice in the legal field of billing in six minutes (i.e., charging 0.1 of an hour) or by half hour.
The pay scale also differs based on the type of lawyer you’re hiring. A junior lawyer is unlikely to charge you more than $150 to $200 an hour. On the other hand, a very well known, reputable attorney who has been in the business for a long time could charge you $1,000 an hour. Before you hire somebody, make sure you do a little background check on them. Ask them about their fees or you’ll end up with a bill that is way over your budget.
Red Flags of a Lawyer
While critically important that you hire a lawyer before you start your business, there are several factors that should raise a red flag about your attorney selection. A lawyer is crucial to your business, so be sure to hire someone with a good portfolio of past experiences. Talk things out with the person you want to hire, and identify which lawyer will best fit your needs. You don’t want an inept lawyer making mistakes that could cost your company a fortune.
Other red flags include hiring a lawyer who doesn’t speak the language of the business you’re conducting. As mentioned earlier, you need somebody who specializes in the industry that you’re in. Finally, if you see your lawyer sending you bills with extra charges that you’re not familiar with, ask for itemized bills and ask him or her to specifically explain where and when the extra charges took place. If they cannot explain properly, then its time you change your lawyer and get someone else.
Dealing with lawyers can be a hectic job but it needs to be done if you want yourself and your business to be safe. As long as you do enough research on lawyers or legal advisors, you shouldn’t face any extra challenges handling them.