Hiring a Business Lawyer – Is It Really Important?
Every business needs the help of two professionals even in its primary stage – a lawyer and an accountant. Service provided by an accountant is not hard to understand but when it comes to a lawyer, the reasons why you will hire his or her service are often not obvious. A Clearwater business attorney will provide his or her clients with vital assistance in all aspects of their venture, from basic copyright, trademark advice and zoning compliance to formal business mergers, liability, and lawsuits.
Following are some rules of the thumb to deal with attorneys:
Don’t wait till you are sued: Most small businesses never realize the importance of hiring an attorney until they receive a summons. It’s important to contact and consult a business lawyer even before your business kicks off. If you are sued, it means problems have already surfaced and by hiring a lawyer, you are just trying to control the damages.
Small Firms or Big Firms: The amount of overhead expenses is subject to the size of a firm. However, larger firms also enjoy some cost advantages. The lawyers have developed more skills over the last couple of decades. If you hire an independent lawyer or a small law firm, the chances are slim to receive skilled service that will help your business grow.
It is less likely that small firms and solo practitioners will be able to deal with your lawsuits, draft a software license agreement, negotiate your retail space or lease of office, supervise your annual corporate meeting and recommend termination contract of unruly employees. They are generalists and sooner or later, will refer you to professionals having specialization in the specific field.
Service provided by large law firms is expensive but they offer two important advantages. Firstly, they provide all skill sets under one roof and secondly, they have strong influence in their local, regional, state and national legal community. A letter from an elite law firm having branches in 20 states across the country is a lot more threatening than that from a small law firm or a solo practitioner in your state.
Retaining service of a large and elite law firm may have multiple benefits. Any such firm will be ready to refer their clients to financial sources or even allow the clients to use the name of the firm as a reference when looking for partnership agreements. If you have a plan to go public with your rapidly growing business establishment someday, you should work with business attorneys who are recognized in venture capital and investment banking communities.
Types of Lawyers
As mentioned earlier, lawyers are becoming more specialized these days. Someone, who has specialization in dealing with house closings and other non-business matters, won’t be a good fit for your purpose. If you are looking for a good business lawyer, you should seek the following qualities in him or her:
Contract: You should work with a lawyer who can quickly understand your business and ready the standard form contracts with suppliers, clients, and customers.
Business Organizations: The lawyer should be able to suggest whether making your business a corporation or a LLC (Limited Liability Company) is the way to go for better organization and necessary paperwork preparation.
Taxes and Licenses: Though preparing tax files is the responsibility of your accountant, your business lawyer should have a clear idea about how to register your company for state and federal tax identification.