The ins and outs of business law are incredibly complex, and many business owners can accidentally break or violate these laws without even realizing it. Starting your own business is incredibly difficult, and the last thing you want to do is make an easily avoidable mistake that prevents your business from growing. Hiring a business attorney can help you navigate these laws and avoid trouble. However, this can be a serious expenditure for some, so you must ensure you pick the right one. To help, let’s take a look at how to choose the right attorney for your business so you get the best legal representation possible.
What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need?
There are plenty of reasons why you should hire a business attorney, as they can help you establish employee contracts, address disputes, and so on. However, business law is a vast field, and while they may be familiar with most aspects of the law, they may have more experience in one area in particular. For example, if you need consistent, long-term legal counsel, you may want to work with a firm that can put you in contact with other specialists in that firm. On the other hand, if you have a specific need or question, such as tax law, you’ll want to work with an attorney who’s more intimately familiar with that aspect of the law.
How Familiar Are They With Your Industry?
Ideally, the lawyer you choose will be at least somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of your business and the typical legal troubles your business may run into. The more familiar they are with your business area, the easier for them to strategize and tackle things before they become a problem. Ultimately, this isn’t a strict requirement, but it certainly is helpful. However, there is a potential downside. Employing a lawyer that works with similar businesses might put you in a conflict of interest situation with other local companies.
How Much Experience Do They Have?
An attorney that’s been in the business for years isn’t inherently better than an attorney that’s new to the field. What you’re looking for in terms of experience is the type of cases they’ve handled and how many they’ve handled successfully. A more experienced, older attorney may have more years under their belt, but they may be more set in their ways and less flexible in terms of strategy. Conversely, a younger attorney may have less experience but be more flexible and adaptable and operate with a more current understanding of the law.
Do They Have Any Referrals?
There’s no shame in asking the attorney you interview for a list of client referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask the business around you if they’ve worked with that attorney. However, if you receive referrals from your attorney, don’t forget to follow up and contact them. Their previous clients can give you invaluable information that will help you with your decision-making. While one poor review shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing an attorney for your business, it’s incredibly helpful during the screening process.
You should choose an attorney that you feel is respectable, knowledgeable, and that you can trust. If you feel like you can’t rely on them, or you get a bad gut feeling, you should follow that instinct and move on to another prospect.