Whether you’re launching an unprecedented small business or taking responsibility for a franchise, choosing the right attorney can help you make the process easier, protect your interests, and smooth your path toward business success. Here are several tips for choosing the best lawyer for your small business:
Find a lawyer who understands your business vision.
Many lawyers work with small businesses, but not every small-business lawyer is right for every entrepreneur. Just as you balance considerations of personality and experience when you hire a design team or sales staff, you’ll need to use this same sense of logic and instinct when choosing your business lawyer. Start by researching attorneys online. Then, speak to lawyers in person so you can find one who is enthusiastic about your goals and shares your core business ethics.
Know what you’re looking for.
Before meeting with a prospective attorney in person, write down two or three key items that you know you need in the short term, as well as one or two “long-term” plans. For instance, do you need a lawyer to help you file a trademark or patent, to create articles of incorporation, or to ensure your LLC is set up correctly? Knowing what you need, and what your major questions are, can help your initial consultation be more productive.
Don’t be afraid to ask about rates.
Most attorneys will attempt to clarify fees and costs up front in order to get a sense of your budget. Don’t shy away from this conversation. Instead, walk in with a clear idea of what you have to spend and what you need. This way, you can ensure you get the valuable assistance you need without breaking the bank.
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