Every small business should have a lawyer in order to protect itself in the event of legal problems, but it can be tough finding a lawyer or legal firm that is the right fit for the business. In order to enjoy a long, trustworthy relationship with a lawyer, small businesses should follow these vital tips to help them find the best lawyer for their business needs.
Find Lawyers with Experience in Your Industry
In order to get the very best legal advice, you should choose a lawyer who is experienced in your specific industry, or in the area of law which you will mainly be dealing with. For example, a construction firm would benefit from working with a contract lawyer who also has specific knowledge of construction law.
One of the best ways to find a trustworthy, reliable lawyer is to ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations, as people tend to only recommend a service if they’ve had a great experience. Ask other small business owners for advice, and listen out for both good and bad experiences so that you know which lawyers to approach and which to avoid.
Consider Small, Local Firms
James Caan, founder of Hamilton Bradshaw, recommends that small start-ups choose a local law firm over large, national firms. He says that local firms will be able to better relate to your business position since they have already gone through the process of establishing themselves in the local community. Plus, it can be easier to build a strong relationship with a smaller law firm who will have less clients on their books and therefore more time to dedicate to your small business.
Compare Several Quotes
Generally speaking, the more senior and experienced a lawyer is, the higher their hourly rates will be. Small businesses tend not to have huge budgets for legal fees, but they shouldn’t simply opt for the cheapest law firm possible without considering whether they’re the right firm for the job. It’s important to find the careful balance between affordability and experience, so approach a few law firms to ask for quotes, and compare their knowledge and experience alongside their hourly rates. It may often be worth paying more for a more senior lawyer, but only if you’re sure that it’s affordable for your business.
Check the Legal Services Board
The Legal Services Board independently regulates legal services in England and Wales. It’s a great place to either start your search for a law firm, or check the status of a firm you’re considering working with. By browsing their approved regulators, you can find the appropriate representative body to search for lawyers in the relevant field, such as solicitors, barristers and patent attorneys.
Don’t rush when hiring a lawyer and make sure you look around for a lawyer before problems arise. This way you can be sure to pick a lawyer that will fit with your business’ true needs, not just a lawyer that is readily available during your time of crisis.
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Photo courtesy of: Activedia
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