How to Hire a Lawyer for your business?
If you run a business of high volume or small business, one of the biggest risks is being sued. And hiring the wrong person can be very expensive.
Defending yourself against a lawsuit can cost a company thousands of dollars, so the best decision is to invest time and resources in hiring an attorney who can prevent legal problems and help resolve them should they occur. We tell you how to hire a lawyer for your business efficiently.
Follow the steps below to find the best lawyer for your business.
Step 1: Determine why you need a lawyer
Some common situations in which new and small companies turn to a business lawyer are the choice of the business entity, the collection of money, the funding agreements between partners, the review of the contracts, the management of employment problems, obtaining and protecting a registered trademark, etc.
Many business attorneys focus on a specific practice area, while others are “generalists” who can help you with a variety of legal concerns.
You must define your needs to hire the appropriate service.
Step 2: Work out a rate agreement that fits your budget
First, it is important to get all the details of your fee agreement in writing. Attorneys work by the hour and usually offers budget-friendly rate arrangements.
You can choose between a flat rate, contingent fee, a withholding agreement, etc.
Step 3: Know when to skip an attorney to save money
The following tasks generally do not require the help of a business attorney:
- Presentation of tax returns.
- Request an employer identification number.
- Hiring of employees and start-up of the payroll.
- Obtaining a business license.
- Presentation of business training documents.
- Apply for a business loan.
- Balancing your books.
In most cases, you can handle these types of tasks on your own and save yourself a lot of money.
More steps to follow before hiring a Lawyer for business startup
If it is within your budget, and feasible, outsource the recruitment service to an external HR consultant specializing in recruiting.
In parallel, get the advice of trusted lawyers from your close circle of entrepreneurship. They may not specialize in the area you need, but they can be your advisors in the candidate selection process; they will quickly know if the professional really has the experience they claim to have.
Also, ask for help from an occupational psychologist who is in charge of the competency interview process; this model seeks to know the behavior of the interviewee in the past, a variable that allows estimating future behavior. In this instance, the alarms will sound early in case the candidate does not meet the profile you need.
However, if you are unable or unwilling to receive advice, you can implement the same steps that make up a standard recruiting, selection and hiring process.
It is the most important step, perhaps. Direct referral from people you trust is a good starting point. However, don’t just stick with good comments from friends and family.
Research and verify your candidate, taking advantage of the access to information that exists today thanks to the Internet.
Just by searching in Google, you can find good comments or claims associated with the service of a lawyer; Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can be helpful, especially if your name appears in groups of clients disappointed by poorly provided services. Likewise, LinkedIn is today a good consultation tool; check if he has a profile, the type and quality of his contacts and if he has received recommendations or good comments for his work.
Determine if the candidate has a background in the legal management of the tax, regulatory, sales, suppliers, patents, intellectual property, or corporate areas, depending on your need.
Once the candidate gives you their information, such as a curriculum vitae, examples of the causes and processes carried out under their direction, and reference contacts, they confirm that they have the years of experience indicated and that they worked in the areas in question.
Ask him for the contact of past clients; corroborate the names of these and of the companies. If you worked for a law firm, call the firm and ask about their performance.
In the case of malpractice or abandonment of duties, this filter will be very useful. But keep in mind also that your candidate may have been disengaged due to differences of opinion or internal rivalries that could well influence the opinion of his former employers.
Negotiate the value
At the end of the day, people weigh their chances between difficulty and price. If you need a lawyer for complex cases that extend over time, perhaps you should have him at a fixed point in the company. Here your interest will be both in price and experience; if they are more difficult and delicate subjects, the experience acquires greater importance.
But if it is simple, but tedious procedures, such as the preparation of a contract or the constitution of a new company, usually the price is more relevant.
Regardless of which variables you prioritize, negotiate the price per hour within a standard workday, overtime, and on weekends.
Ask them for a list of any additional charges they think may arise during the counseling for each specific task.
Leave everything in writing. Either a minute or a chain of e-mails; records the entire selection process, from name searches to first contacts and formal interviews.
This will avoid misunderstandings or impromptu requests during conversations.
Also ask for a standard written work plan, with procedures and ranges of task execution times.
Evaluate at least three candidates before making a decision. So you can compare proposals for work plans and fees. Remember not to get carried away by low prices; lack of experience can be even more expensive for your business.
Also, take into account that you may need to hire a lawyer to support the growth plans of your SME.
Related Article: 3 Key Steps for Selling an Idea
Avoid misunderstandings and future problems by hiring legal advice that your SME needs. Evaluate whether it is necessary to have the help of a lawyer, and for how long you will require their services.
Then, select who will be a fundamental pillar of the company with the same care and dedication that you put into hiring trustworthy or important positions in your business.
If you don’t care about their selection process, the legal advisor you choose could end up being a problem, distracting you from your main responsibility, which is to deliver solutions to your clients.
- 1 Step 1: Determine why you need a lawyer
- 2 Step 2: Work out a rate agreement that fits your budget
- 3 Step 3: Know when to skip an attorney to save money
- 4 More steps to follow before hiring a Lawyer for business startup
- 5 Get advice
- 6 Check references
- 7 Evaluate experience
- 8 Negotiate the value
- 9 Document everything
- 10 Alternatives deck
- 11 Conclusion