Every small business requires a lawyer to handle legal-related issues. It may seem unnecessary at first, but as you dive deeper into the business world, you might encounter some situations in which you need the help of a lawyer to handle those specific issues. A business lawyer is a person with a legal capacity who handles business-related matters, and you need to know how to choose a small business lawyer before it’s too late.
Due to the many types of businesses, most lawyers specialise in a particular line of business, for example, real estate, accounting, taxes, employment, etc. This way, they will have enough knowledge about the requirements of a particular business and handle the matters accordingly.
Knowing this can help you choose not just any lawyer but someone who specialises in the industry your business lies in. Most small businesses have never interacted with a lawyer, and it might seem difficult since you have no idea where to start, but this article can help you figure things out.
Why you Might Need a Small Business Lawyer
Small businesses, like any other business, might need the help of a lawyer in the following circumstances.
- In real estate, a small business might need a lawyer to purchase a business premise or sell their old property to a new and willing buyer.
- They might need a lawyer when an issue arises regarding the employer-employee relationship that might need legal advice and action.
- Taxes a small business might need a lawyer when dealing with tax agencies or when they have been accused of not paying taxes.
- Litigation is the most common reason why a business might need a lawyer. Most businesses face legal problems from customers or employees who want to sue the business. Having a business lawyer can help in dealing with these litigation issues.
What to Consider when Choosing a Small Business Lawyer
1. Long or short term?
This is the first thing you should consider when choosing a small business lawyer. You need to ask yourself whether you want a lawyer for the short or long term. First, this can be answered by understanding why you need a lawyer.
If you have a minor legal issue, like advice on a particular business area like an employment contract, you might need a lawyer for the short term. If you want a lawyer who will handle all your business’s legal issues, you may be looking to hire a lawyer in the long run. An example where you might need a long term relationship with a lawyer, is if you have a large employee base who all require contracts and HR support.
2. Areas of specialisation
Lawyers mainly specialise in a particular area of law, just like doctors do, because it is an extensive area of study that requires advanced knowledge in many things. Some lawyers specialise in corporate law that involves businesses, property law that applies to real estate, family law that involves family-related disputes, immigration, civil law, and general law, which affects all areas of law.
Identifying the area of legal help, you need can help you get access to a good lawyer who has knowledge of your specialisation. For example, a property lawyer might be best if you need help purchasing premises by signing the correct paperwork.
Different countries and areas have different laws. The laws of one country can vary from another. Therefore, choose a lawyer who is familiar with the laws of the particular area your business is situated in so that they can offer the right legal solution to your problems.
If you have a multinational operation, you probably already have a lawyer, but even if you just sell to people in another country, it might be worth seeking some advice about the product or service you are providing.
If you have weighty legal matters that might need a long-term solution, dealing with a lawyer who is close to you, like a family member, can be very beneficial since it will help you build the friendship and trust needed to solve the matter.
Choosing a lawyer with enough experience in legal matters is very important since they can solve the issue faster and more cleanly. The lawyer should also be very experienced in solving cases similar to your own.
You can find information about the lawyer’s experience through their law firm or by asking them about their work history. This will ensure that you get information about their history and experience as well as whether they are good communicators.
What does it Cost to Hire a Small Business Lawyer
The most common fee for small business lawyers is an hourly and flat. The hourly rate can range between £150 to £500 per hour depending on experience and type of legal matter. This fee can also vary depending on the number of people required to meet your needs.
A flat fee is a pricing that charges a single fixed cost for service regardless of usage. Flat fees for lawyers can range from £500 to infinity depending on the place and area of specialisation.
It all depends on what the matter is… Litigation is the most expensive type of legal service, where as something simple like conveyancing is quite reasonable.
What if you don’t have a Business Lawyer?
If you do not have a lawyer or cannot afford to get one as a small business, to avoid needing one, you should be very careful with what you do and say since the tongue can be a dangerous weapon. Consider separating your assets from those of the business. This will protect you from legal issues when they arise.
Insurance is also one of the safest ways of avoiding legal issues. Insuring your business property and employees from any accidents or dangers that might arise during work can be very beneficial since you won’t get sued for employee accidents since the insurance will cater to that.
Risk management is the key to avoiding legal issues.
What Should you do Once you have Chosen a Lawyer?
Setting a budget for lawyer fees is essential since this will help you access good legal advice and work whenever needed at an affordable cost that will not drain you.
Developing a relationship with your lawyers is very important since it helps you build trust in which you can share personal information that you wouldn’t want others to know about.
Set a clear outline of work. You should set a clear overview of work with your lawyer on what you want to be handled and within what period to avoid additional costs.
Choosing a lawyer to represent your business is very important. It helps in dealing with litigation and employment-related problems. Choosing a lawyer based on experience and area of specialisation will help you get the best lawyer to represent your small business.
Hopefully this has helped you choose a small business lawyer.