Running a business is not possible without taking care of various legal aspects. In fact, right from its inception, an enterprise has to conform to one or more legal regulations. This makes it essential for every organization to either hire or appoint a full-time lawyer. However, many small enterprises do not look to hire a lawyer until they are faced with a legal problem. In this post, we are presenting some valuable tips to find the right law firm for small business organizations. Starting a search for an attorney when faced with a legal problem is an incorrect approach. It can force you to select a professional that is not suitable to fulfill your requirements. While large multi-national enterprises have the luxury of hiring big firms or a law firm network, small companies with their limited resources can be restricted to only a few options. It is essential, therefore, that you have a plan in place to fulfill their legal needs. The following tips will help you find the correct agency for your enterprise.
1. Identify Your Legal Requirements
In order to find a suitable counsel, you need to know about your business’ legal requirements. Identify the areas where you will need an attorney’s assistance. For instance, if you are planning to start a venture, then you will need advice on how to incorporate the company and minimize its liabilities. Similarly, if you are already running a firm, then you may need help in tax planning or securing your assets. The nature of your business will also dictate your legal requirements. For example, a technology startup may need to hire an intellectual property lawyer to protect its original creations. It will also be pertinent to know whether you need advice in more than one practice area. Let’s say you run a manufacturing company which is dealing with potentially polluting substances. Then you will have to get a professional who knows labor law, environmental law, and compliance regulations to name a few areas.
2. Consider Whether You Need An In-house Counsel
Once you have identified your requirements, it is time to assess the type of lawyer you need. Will hiring a firm to fulfill your needs or do you need a full-time attorney? Most people look to engage a professional whenever a need arises. This is not an incorrect approach but it may not turn out to be cost-effective if your enterprise is similar to the one mentioned in the above point. A manufacturing firm that has to mind serious environmental laws besides other regulations related to employment, compliance, taxes, etc. may do well to appoint an in-house counsel. On the other hand, if you need help only in specific instances, then you can engage a firm.
3. Choose A Firm That Has Experience Of Your Industry
When you are choosing a law firm for small businesses, then it will be wise to select an agency that has experience working in your industry. This will help you in getting advice from people who are well aware of the kind of problems that enterprises of your type, face. They will also know about the regulations that will affect your operations. If you choose a professional, who has no prior experience of handling matters in your industry, then the attorney will need some time to get familiar with your domain. This can delay your efforts and also cost you financially.
4. Select A Professional With Strong Networking Skills
Networking is an essential quality to succeed as a lawyer. As a business owner, you need to find a law firm that is run by someone with strong networking skills. Such individuals will be able to open up doors for you and offer help in other domains apart from their core practice area. Running a commercial organization is not an easy task and you are faced with new challenges regularly. Having an advisor with good connections in various fields will turn out to be an asset to your firm. The lawyer will help you get access to all solutions under one roof.
5. Compare The Fee Structure Of various Firms
Another important aspect of hiring a law firm is its fees. It will be pertinent to create a shortlist of various firms and compare their fee structures. Find out whether the selected agencies will charge you on an hourly basis or demand a flat fee. Some firms also work on monthly retainers. Attorneys also work on a contingency basis when they are hired for litigation or other complex issues. In such cases, if the client receives financial compensation, then they take a percentage of the amount. Consider all these factors and compare the fee plans of different firms before you make the final choice.
Selecting an appropriate law firm for small business is necessary because it affects their future growth. Entrepreneurs must outline their legal needs and conduct thorough research to discover the right attorney for their organization.