Many small businesses don’t think about hiring a business attorney until a customer files a lawsuit against them. They decide it’s a waste of money and assume it will be just fine. Unfortunately, this decision will eventually come back and bite them in a painful place.
Business attorneys are there to protect you and your business. They are on your side if you are hit with a lawsuit. They can advise you on all areas of the law, including contract law. Hiring an attorney after something bad happens is likely to be a lot more expensive than keeping a business attorney on a retainer. Hire a business attorney when you first go into business and their advice will save you money in the long run.
There are hundreds of business law attorneys out there, but not all of them will match your requirements. To help you make the right decision, here are some of the qualities you should be looking for in a business attorney.
It should go without saying that experience is critical. An attorney fresh out of law school might seem like a bargain, but they won’t have the right experience to fight your corner or offer you the right advice. Inexperienced lawyers work under the wing of more experienced lawyers until they have learned the ropes and proved themselves ready to take on their own clients. Look for an attorney with a lot of relevant experience so that you can relax safe in the knowledge that this person has your back.
It’s pointless hiring a business law attorney who specializes in corporate law if you need an expert in media law, and vice versa. Look for a lawyer who has expertise in your niche. They will probably have dealt with other businesses in your area of specialty, so they’ll know exactly how to handle problems as and when they arise.
You need a business attorney with a good reputation. Ask around and come up with a few personal recommendations. It is always better to hire a lawyer who comes personally recommended, with a good reputation and plenty of five-star reviews. Conversely, stay well away from anyone who has a bad reputation for whatever reason, even if they are cheap.
Some lawyers are sharks through and through. They skate along the edges of the law and play fast and loose with their clients. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a shady attorney, even if he/she promises you the moon. Good attorneys are honest and have integrity. They won’t overcharge you or mess you around. This is where a personal recommendation comes in handy.
It’s essential that a business attorney is available when you need them. Look for a business attorney that answers the phone, replies to emails, and is there when you have a problem. If your attorney is too busy to take your calls and takes days to reply to queries, it doesn’t bode well when you have a major problem.
Vet a few attorneys and don’t let their fees be the primary criteria for making a final decision.