Friday, July 3, 2020

Commercial Lawyers: Ask Yourself These Five Questions When Hiring a Lawyer.

June 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Building a business requires a rock-solid foundation to ensure success. Whether you have a small business or a large corporation, there are contracts, policies, and procedures that must be in place in any organization.

If you hire a commercial lawyer before you get into trouble, you’re investing in the success of your business, believe those at Let’s take a look at a few questions we can ask to find the right commercial lawyer.

Why Does My Business Need a Lawyer?

Lawyers do more than fighting battles in courtrooms. Formal businesses have many divisions that need specialized legal input; here are some ways in which commercial lawyers can assist:

  • Drafting business and employment contracts
  • Supervise corporate structuring and restructuring
  • Formulating internal policies and procedures
  • Obtaining private and public financing
  • Formulate business documents
  • Filing tax returns
  • Managing compliance with regulation agencies
  • Take care of franchise and distribution issues
  • Apply for trademarks and patents
  • Taking care of litigation

Where Do I Find a Lawyer?

Start with word-of-mouth, ask friends, relatives, and business associates for recommendations to set you in the right direction. Also try other avenues, such as referrals from the chamber of commerce, your local state or bar association, and lawyer or paralegal acquaintances.

Should I Choose a Big or a Small Firm?

A small firm or single practitioner might not have all the skills you need for your business. A more prominent firm gives you the advantage or more specialized lawyers available to suit your legal needs, but the hourly rates will probably be higher than a smaller firm.

Using a more prominent firm in your area will give you more muscle in the legal world. Using their name when dealing with partnerships and financing could open more doors for you than with a smaller firm.

What Should I Ask the Lawyer in an Interview?

Don’t be scared to ask questions during an interview; you need to be sure that hiring this lawyer is in the best interest for your business. Ask about the lawyer’s experience and connections. If your lawyer isn’t specialized in certain areas of your legal needs, does he have a working relationship with another attorney who is? You don’t want to hop around between lawyers when problems pop up.

Ask about other clients in your industry. You want to be sure your lawyer is familiar with the legal environment of your business, or at least willing to learn. You also want to be wary of your lawyer representing your biggest competitor.

What Will it Cost Me to Hire a Commercial Lawyer?

There are different fee structures you can negotiate with your lawyer. Most lawyers will charge you per hour, as well as traveling costs. Some lawyers work with flat fees for routine matters. You can discuss a monthly retainer if you foresee a lot of legal issues in your business.

In the case of lawsuits or complex matters, you can negotiate a contingency fee with your lawyer. Make sure before you sign any agreements that you have complete transparency regarding the billing. You don’t want to be unprepared for meals and photocopies on your bill.

To Hire or Not to Hire

Legal issues are complex, and a do-it-yourself approach can land you in hot water. Making use of a commercial lawyer from the start will prevent you from falling into trouble, but only you can decide if it’s worth the money or not.

Staff Writer; Brian Shaw

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