Thinking about hiring a business attorney to help with your startup? This person is going to be in control of all the business law that relates to your company, so it’s crucial you are comfortable and confident with your choice. Here are 5 Questions You May Want to Ask.
A good business attorney will provide advice on a number of areas within your business, including lawsuits and liability, business incorporation, copyright and trademarks, and zoning compliance.
To make sure the lawyer you hire is the right fit for your business, here are the top 5 questions you may want to ask:
1. Do You Have Experience Working in My Industry?
Specialist skills and knowledge are required to deal with certain issues, such as service contracts, franchise agreements, and intellectual property. Therefore, it’s necessary the attorneys you are interviewing are familiar with your company’s industry and have worked with similar clients before. Ask if you can speak to some of their previous clients to make sure.
2. Have You Worked With a Startup Before?
A lot of lawyers will have worked with established companies, but startups in the early stages often have very different needs. It’s important your business attorney has experience starting a business, because then they will understand the processes involved from inception to launch.
For example, companies in the early stages will often focus on creating a legal infrastructure for the business, while those in the later stages will be concentrating on funding, securities, and so on.
3. Who Will Be Looking After My Work?
From the outset, it’s crucial you are aware who is going to be looking after your work. After all, you could be wowed by the attorney you interview, but if they are handing your work to a paralegal, you might get a totally different service.
Many lawyers use paralegals, but it’s important to establish just how much of your services will be assigned to them. You don’t want to have to constantly re-explain things to a paralegal.
4. What Is Your Fee Structure?
To avoid any nasty surprises when the first bill arrives from your attorney, find out how they bill their customers. Some might not bill you for increments that are less than an hour, while others might work with smaller increments of 10 minutes. Don’t forget to ask about the paralegal and research fees they may have, too.
It’s also worth asking if there are any ways you can save money. For example, they might reduce their fees if you can write a case summary yourself.
5. Is This Person Someone You Can Work With?
Although this isn’t a question for the business attorney you are thinking of hiring, it’s an important one to ask yourself. This lawyer may have all the skills you need, but are you going to feel comfortable discussing your business’s intimate details with them?
If you don’t feel as though you can talk to them, they might not be the right hire for you. You need to be able to communicate effectively with them to get the best representation for your business.
What questions did you ask your business attorney? Do you feel as though you made the right choice? Please share your thoughts below.
entrepreneur.com; Cliff Ennico; https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/58326
huffingtonpost.com; 2011; Doug Bend; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-bend/startup-lawyers-key-quest_b_890524.html