The best time to hire a small business attorney is just before you really need one. That’s because most of the problems small businesses encounter can be remedied without an attorney. That being said, here are a few common situations in which startups and small companies ought to consider hiring a small business attorney: An attorney handling your business’s legal issues during its startup stages may be able to prevent potential class action lawsuits as a result of negligence. He can also help draft the corporate resolution to provide you with guidance during the process of incorporating your business.
Many startups and small business owners fail to appropriately protect themselves from debt collection agencies once their company has started to grow. These agencies are often illegal, but they do manage to accumulate a lot of debt for the small business owners. A small business attorney can help the startup develop a strong set of defenses against these practices. As well, he can assist the company with collecting accrued payroll taxes.
This common problem can also have a negative impact on other aspects of operations. For one thing, it makes it difficult to obtain financing. Also, the small business lawyer may be able to negotiate a much better deal with potential investors. As well, hiring a small business lawyer provides the necessary expertise to protect your intellectual property rights. For example, he can argue on your behalf that you are not infringing upon any intellectual property rights when trading products using the internet.
The most serious legal issues confronting a startup usually involve acquisitions. How to deal with them is a critical issue for most new companies. In addition to hiring an experienced small business attorney, you’ll want to keep track of a number of other legal experts who can advise you on how to proceed. Here’s how to get started:
Find a Small Business Lawyer You Know – You’ll probably need to interview several small business law attorneys before deciding which one to hire. It’s important to ask questions about their experience and qualifications. Of course, it’s also vital to ask whether their board members of various legal groups or have a reputation for fair treatment of clients. Any lawyer who doesn’t seem up to date on the latest developments in his field probably isn’t the best one for your needs.
Network – Ask friends and business owners whom they’ve employed at different firms and which legal firms they ultimately got taken care of. As well, network with those attorneys who have worked primarily in your niche or related fields. You can get a great idea of how much they’re knowledgeable and how well they know their stuff. Ask about the success rate or the percentage of cases they settle versus how much they go to trial. Lastly, you can always ask for a referral if one of your leads could use the services of that attorney.
Talk to Others – One way of avoiding wasting time on an untrained attorney is by talking to others who are already represented. If one of your acquaintances has a good relationship with a legal firm and they’re happy and satisfied with their services, then you can move forward without further hesitation. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or to see samples of work from the attorney you’re considering hiring. In addition, there are always networking opportunities in small business law firms and in the legal profession as a whole. These opportunities might be able to point you to one or two attorneys with a great deal of knowledge of the system and a great desire to help you out.
Remember, when it comes to hiring the right attorney, no small business owners should operate without the help of professionals. There are numerous reasons why small business owners might want to consider hiring attorneys to handle their cases, but it’s important for them to hire an attorney that is experienced and well-regarded in the field of law that he or she will be handling. This way, you can be sure that your interests are being protected and that your rights are being protected while you go about your business day to day.