When you mean to put up a small business, it is not just about capital, supply and work force. While no one wants to have any legal problems, it is best to get the help of a small business attorney since it is his/her job. It is what he/she does best. However, not all small business attorneys are the same. It is your duty, as the business owner, to find who suits your needs best without draining your funds. The 5 questions to ask yourself will help you identify who the best attorney is for your business.
Where is the best place to start?
There are many lawyers around. Most directories will give you thousands of them but you do not know them. The best place to start is from people you know. Who, among your trusted family and friends, can recommend one who will be able to help you with your particular legal needs? If they are recommended, that lawyer has done something right for the person who recommended him/her.
How qualified is he/she to handle my legal needs?
Lawyers have different specializations. While they know the general concept of the law, one may be focused on family matters while another is better with business matters. Often, this happens not only because of the chosen focus but also the opportunities than come his/her way is numerous for a certain concentration. That, in a way, makes him/her an authority on such, especially if all his/her cases have been won. You would want to get an attorney who focuses on your small business needs.
What is his/her credibility?
Is he/she a member of a certain bar association? If you just met someone who says he/she is an attorney and no colleague knows him/her, even if he/she is recommended by a friend, the credibility is not stable. Ask if he/she can recommend other attorneys in different specialization. Ask if he/she belongs to any bar association and make your effort to confirm the claim from within the association.
Is his/her rate competitive?
Legal fees can be expensive but you would want to know if your prospective attorney is competitive and if he/she can even do pro bono for certain cases. What you want to really know how greedy (or not) he/she can be. If his rate is competitive and yet you are still overwhelmed, you can ask if there is something that you can do yourself to free him/her of the load, thus, lowering the rate. There should be something like rounding up documents or writing some of the events but if he/she is not willing to give that to you, you should get the hint that he/she is into your wallet.
How reachable is he/she?
Lawyers can be busy always but that does not give them the right to be out of touch with clients. With today’s technology, aside from the regular phone, there is SMS, email, instant messaging, and even video conferencing. Communication is very important especially at the time when you need it the most.
When setting up a small business, hiring an attorney can be an additional expense for the company but may save you in the long run because of doing the right thing in the first place. You have to be able to get the right one for your small business.