Upon having a decent and professional Business Lawyer can facilitate you and your business in several ways. Once you have decided and determined that having a Business Lawyer would be mutually beneficial, valuable, and economically reasonable, then you are required to consider a precise process of choosing and hiring the right candidate for your business.
Before we discuss “how to hire an Attorney,” Let me tell you what is an attorney? The term “Attorney,” “Lawyer,” “Advocate,” or “Prosecutor” are used simultaneously for the same. I will use the term “Business Lawyer” in this article.
What does a business lawyer do?
A business lawyer is an individual who exercises his or her legal practice and experiences on various issues that could affect businesses. The business issues could be related to intellectual property, taxation, and business transactions of different natures. Sometimes Business Lawyers are supposed to work for longer hours to prepare the cases for business issues.
Business lawyers advise organizations and individual entrepreneurs on the legal issues caused by their business transactions and facilitate business-related documentations. Several Business Lawyers are drawn to this type of task and activities because of less adversarial effects than litigation generally.
Nearly all businesses need two professionals at least to run the business smoothly. First, an accountant, and the second is a Lawyer. Employing an upright Business Lawyer is considered very crucial to a successful business.
Why hiring a reasonable accountant for a business is pretty obvious. When you have decided to start your business or are currently doing any business, you need somebody to serve you in setting up your business’s “chart of accounts,” reviewing your business numbers intermittently, and formulating all of your essential local, state, or federal tax returns.
The reason behind having a Business Lawyer may not be so apparent. However, A decent Business Lawyer can provide vibrant assistance in nearly every facet of your business, starting from rudimentary zoning compliance, trademark, copyright to recognized business incorporation along with liability and lawsuits. The following are the general rules of dealing with Business Lawyers.
Where to find a business lawyer?
To find a business lawyer do the following steps:
- Determine why you need a business lawyer.
- Define a fee arrangement that fits your budget.
- Source business lawyers through your network and legal directories. Make a list.
- Call them and compare lawyers by asking the right questions.
Usually, small-sized business organizations delay employing a Business Lawyer until they receive a summons from the court or authorities. I can suggest that it is better to hook up with a respectable Business Lawyer before you get sued.
It will be too late if you have been served with a complaint or summons because the problem or big issue has occurred. You will probably have to pay the price in the form of court expenses, lawyer’s fee, and other expenses for settlement to get that issue resolved. There is a very famous saying about almost all courts that it seems simple to get into a court but very hard to get rid of the court once you are trapped.
A law firm Big or Small
If you knock on the door of a big law firm, then it is obvious you will have to pay the higher price. Although larger law firms do have some advantages over small firms, do remember that the larger the firm, the higher the hourly charges will be, you will be required to pay for your business problem to be corrected. On the other hand, if you go after a small firm or a solo practitioner, you might not have the skills and experience you need to flourish your business. During the past two decades, lawyers have become exceptionally specialized.
I am not sure a tiny law firm or any solo practitioner can handle your business lawsuits, including, file a trademark or patent, negotiating the lease of space of the office, software license agreement, advice on terminating a disruptive worker, and annual business meetings. Eventually, they will refer you out to the specialists. Undoubtedly, if you are running a fast-paced entrepreneurial business that plans to go public someday, you must work with recognized Business Lawyers in the investment banking and venture capital communities.
How to become a business lawyer?
To become a business lawyer in the US, you need to do the following steps:
- Complete an Undergraduate Degree Program (It is not obligatory, but it is good to have passed the exam in business administration)
- Take the LSAT half-day exam ( multiple choice questions)
- Graduate from Law School
- Take a Bar Exam
- Gain Work Experience
- Finish Master of Law (LLM) degree programs in Business Law
And now let us see salary:
How much does a business lawyer make a year?
In the US, business lawyers make between $52K to $120K. Business lawyer’s salaries depending on the size, location, and financial condition of the employer.
One important question is:
Can a lawyer have a side business?
Of course, lawyers can have a side hustle like any other person. No law prohibits lawyers from working on other things except practicing the law.
Types of Attorneys
A lawyer who only gets engaged in wills, house closings, or non-business issues or matters perhaps no a good match for your business. As a business owner or business manager, you will be required a specific set of skills to grow your business. The more business-oriented skills you consider in a lawyer, the better. Here’s everything you need to know about finding, interviewing, and hiring the very best.
Skill Set required to be considered
Contract Making Skills
A business Lawyer, you need is required to understand your business as soon as possible. A business Lawyer you are looking for in your business must be familiar with various forms of contracts, for instance, contracts with customers, vendors, and suppliers.
Business organization Form
A Business Lawyer is needed who can help guide you in decisions, whether an LLC (limited liability Company) or corporation is the superior way to establish your business and prepare all the required paperwork.
Real Estate Provisions
Securing a commercial space for a business office or retail store is complex and usually drafted to benefit the landlords. These documents tend to be in a printed form, which gives you a feeling of not negotiable.
This is not true; Your Business Lawyer will have a standardized Tenant’s Addendum, which gives you benefits and can be annexed lease documents.
Taxes and licenses
Your business accountant is supposed to prepare and file tax returns of your business each year, and your Business Lawyer must know how to get registered your business for state and federal tax identification numbers and apprehend the tax significances of the rudimentary business transactions of your business.
In the case of the media business, or another creative-type business, there will certainly be an advantage to have a Business Lawyer who can help you register your goods and services for copyright protection and trademarks. Although, some carry out such tasks by specialists who are purely involved in “intellectual property” and other legal work. If your Business Lawyer claims that he/she is a specialist in small businesses, then he/she would have very close working relationships with some intellectual property specialists.
What questions to be asked in Interviewing Business Lawyers?
Be familiar with Business Lawyer Experience.
- Don’t be scared to ask direct questions from the candidates about/their experience in the same field. For instance, if you have planned to incorporate your business, ask if they have ever handled incorporation.
Are you well-versed in the law?
- I know, possibly, no Business Lawyer can do and know everything about every area of the rule of law. If your business is about graphic designing, then the lawyer must know copyright laws.
Current clientage in your industry
- You may ask the current clients of the same industry you are in from the candidate. Your Business Lawyer must be fairly acquainted with the current industry and its legal setting. Probe your candidate to know what magazines, journals, or articles he studies for the same field’s current competencies.
Are you a good teacher?
- A Business Lawyer must be ready to take time to teach you and the rest of the staff about the legal implications of your business. The Business Lawyer would guide you about what the law is and describe how it can affect how you are doing your business to fix issues well before they get worse.
There are several law firms and Business Lawyers who may charge a flat rate as a one-time fee for monotonous issues and problems, for instance, establishing a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Usually, Business Lawyers don’t offer a flat fee except you request it. To avoid complications, the time of the billing cycle must be fixed in advance too.
It would help if you remembered to make it clear the lawyer’s out-of-pocket (filing fee, courier, or traveling) expenses while negotiating a flat rate.
Business lawyers are usually disinclined in quoting flat fees if the matter is around litigations and or negotiations with other third parties.
Ask yourself before hiring a Business Lawyer.
Is this candidate an irritated businessperson disguised as a lawyer?
- Sometimes the lawyers get drained of being on the outside looking in when it comes to business dealings. Such a lawyer may attempt to second-guess your business judgment. Be wary of a lawyer who takes too keen an interest in the non-legal aspects of your work.
Does this person communicate well?
- The decent and professional Business Lawyers will not answer your queries with a simple;
- “That’s OK”
- “No, you can’t do that,”
Rather they will outline all your available options and guide you on what other organizations in such situations typically do.
Are the offices conveniently located?
- For all of your business legal issues, you may be required to visit your Business Lawyer’s office recurrently, particularly in the initial years of your business. These frequent visits may consume you traveling, whereas this traveling time may be shifted to other productive business activities. Therefore, you are suggested to choose a Business Lawyer that is closed to your workplace.
Do I like this person?
- As you are supposed to meet and communicate frequently with the Business Lawyer, don’t forget to consider your personality and feelings. If you feel the trust level is compromised with the particular lawyer, you cannot trust a particular lawyer, or you think both of you have dissimilar standpoints, then keep looking for another one.
Finding a Business Lawyer
The easiest and simple way to identify a Business Lawyer is to ask your friends or family members. It’s better to find a Business Lawyer who has some prior professional experience in the field of business you are in.
A rational place, to begin with, is the country or state’s Bar Association. Such BAR’s websites always have a lot of information for professionals and consumers for legal assistance.
You can search by state and cities. Many results will appear within the location you particularly specify in your search bar, with full background information of firms and business lawyers. You can also identify business lawyers with the average fee they charge.
Generally, for several businesspersons, the concept of consulting a lawyer invokes up scary visions of a higher amount of legal bills. No doubt, lawyers are always costly, but there are some other ways than ever to keep an eye on costs. Twitch by learning about these options; lawyer’s billing their efforts and time:
- Hourly Rate; Many of the lawyers charge their fees on an hourly basis and when out-of-pocket expenses (like traveling) are reimbursed by the client (if any).
- Flat (fixed) fee; sometimes, business lawyers volunteer a flat rate or fee for certain monotonous issues, such as reviewing closing a loan or a contract.
- Monthly retainer; as a business owner, If you think many routine queries or questions may require regular assistance from a business lawyer, then one choice is a regular monthly fee that will enable you to have legal advice for all the routine matters.
- Contingent fee; Business Lawyers usually work for long hours on a contingency basis for lawsuits and complex matters. In this case, they receive in the percentage of the proceeds if they succeed but don’t charge in case of failure except for out-of-pocket expenses only.
Being a business owner, If you believe a single method may work better for you than another one, then do bring it up with the Business Lawyer. Once you hire a Business Lawyer’s services, make an agreement termed as “engagement Letter” comprising the billing method. This agreement must specify what expenses you, as a business owner, are expected to pay. Sometimes, Business Lawyers expect you to reimburse their meals, postage, and photocopies, etc.
Identifying and hiring the right “Business Lawyer,” also known as “Corporate Attorney” for your business legal matters, is more of a feeling. If you feel some hesitation or apprehension about a particular candidate, then continue searching for the right person for your business’s legal matters. Do exert a high level of effort, get several recommendations from your trusted and available sources, and then finalize an individual who seems the best option for you and your business matters.