Sooner or later, as you go about your business operations, chances are that you are going to need a lawyer to help you address the many legal issues that are almost sure to crop up during the course of running your business. The very nature of business almost guarantees that this will happen.
When these legal issues do indeed start coming up, this is when your choice of legal representation can go a long way in determining how well your business survives these legal hurdles.
It is easy to get any lawyer to help walk you through any legal issues you are having in your business, but getting a good lawyer is an entirely different ball game. One rule of thumb is finding a lawyer who understands the nature of your business. That is one of the key considerations in finding a lawyer to represent your legal business interests. And where they do not fully understand it, provided they are willing to learn, then all should be fine.
To get the “best” lawyer, you need to do more than just sitting in the office and making a few calls. You need real guts, and in this article, we are going to show you just how you can choose the best lawyer for your small business.
Know when you need a lawyer
Knowing exactly when to get a lawyer for your small business forms an important part of getting a good lawyer. For instance, when starting your business, you might just want to consult some lawyers to help you with business formation or general consultations.
So when do you hire a lawyer. Well, you need to do it as early as possible in your business formation process. This ensures that before you do something illegal, your lawyer might have given you the right advice to prevent you from committing any crime, or otherwise falling foul of the law. Prevention they say is always better than cure. Getting a lawyer early enough equally helps you build a good, long-lasting relationship between your business and that particular lawyer.
Focus on specialization
There are general lawyers whose focus is on general cases. Operating a small business means that you should get a lawyer who does not just have knowledge in small business formation and administration, but also conversant with the small business atmosphere and your specific niche.
Getting a general lawyer is not necessarily a bad idea, especially if you are just starting out with a tight budget and wouldn’t want to spend all your start-up capital on legal issues. This way, you can get a general lawyer, but make sure that your lawyer is good enough to refer you to specialists when the need arises.
For instance, if it’s about contract, you can get a good contract attorney to handle the case for you. Each lawyer has their own field, and you should take advantage of that.
Always go for an innovative lawyer
No matter how good, intelligent, and innovative they are, lawyers will always need to listen to you, the small business owner in order to learn more about your business. However, you should not have to use your money to hire a ‘dumb’ lawyer who brings nothing to the table.
A lawyer, after listening to what you want, should be able to brainstorm and bring legal solutions to daring issues that are disturbing your business.
Listen, research, and use referrals
If for instance you are a small business operating out of New York, after you’ve made your decision as to the kind of New York small business attorney you want to hire, you have to research your environment, listen to other small businesses about the kinds of lawyers they use or have used in the past, and also try getting referrals from friends, family members, and maybe competitors about the best lawyers in the area.
This is a good step as it helps you hire the right lawyer for your small business.
The interview (yourself and the potential lawyer)
After you’ve researched and come out with one or two possible attorneys, you need to ask yourself or the lawyer certain questions to be sure that you are hiring the best possible solicitor for your business.
You can use the following checklist as a guide to help you determine what kind of questions you should be asking:
- The lawyer’s years of experience as a general lawyer
- Their years of experience as a specialist lawyer (for your small business type)
- Get to know a little about their previous clients
- Know the times bills will be paid to the lawyer
- Know the mode of communication between you and the lawyer
These are questions that should guide you in an interview form so that you can get the best lawyer for your small business.
Getting a lawyer for a small business is not easy. However, with a keen attention to the checklist provided above, you are on the path to an excellent, innovative lawyer.