Small businesses need to work with different external professionals, including bankers, insurance agents, financial consultants and lawyers. Businesses with strong relationship with legal professionals have distinct advantages when resolving specific legal issues. In general, business owners check the background of lawyers to make sure that they are working people who can be the best fit for the situation at hand. Business owners may have limited experience with legal matter and this requires them to find people to resolve legal issues. Small businesses without a permanent lawyer are not yet “go legal” and this can put them at certain disadvantage.
Small business owners can contact the local Bar Association to help them find the most appropriate legal professionals. It is important to choose lawyers who have familiarity or previous experiences with our industry. Many business owners can be surprised at how many legal issues that suddenly appears and without proper legal helps, they could end-up making hasty and improper decisions. It’s important to know that not all attorneys are created equal. Lawyers can be specialized on criminal or civil cases. In reality, small businesses may require both types of lawyers depending on their condition. However, the most likely cases are related to civil issues.
However, we should know that civil law is still a large field and lawyers could have specialization on labor issues, contract enforcement, intellectual property and incorporation ownership. In order to simplify things, it is better to choose lawyers who are experienced and knowledgeable on multiple aspects. So the lawyer should be fully matched with the problem and it means that we could be on the right track. Often, with basic Internet research, we are able to obtain a list of prospective lawyers who can help us in specific civil or criminal cases. Again, money matters, so we should make sure to have an agreement on the proper charge by hour, if the attorney has an hourly rate.
If we are agree to have long relationship with the attorney, we could negotiate on flat fee for each case, which could depend on the duration and complexity of each. Regardless of the payment method we choose, attorneys could require a retainer or specific amount of money that should be paid upfront. We should also know who will handle our cases. It is not acceptable to pay premium to have our cases handled by associates. However, for minor cases, we could pay affordable sum of money to get them solved and addressed by junior associated. For crucial cases, we should make sure that we obtain legal services from someone on the “partners” level from the firm.