Hiring a lawyer is one of the most important decisions facing any small business owner, regardless of their chosen field, the product or service they offer, or size of the startup. But it isn’t just about finding any lawyer, it’s vital that you find the right lawyer. One who understands the many complex challenges inherent to startups and the industries in which they reside.
Our team of legal experts at the Miller Law Group have a hard and fast set of criteria that we advise any budding business owner to consider carefully in his or her search for hiring an attorney. The following are some of the most critical facets of that criteria, because having the best representation on your side in any dispute or negotiation can have a significant impact on your startup’s ability to succeed.
Conduct Plenty of Research
The more exhaustive you are about this step of the process, the better off you will be in identifying the perfect candidate to represent you and your enterprise. Gather all of your likely candidates and do your due diligence into exploring their backgrounds, their caseloads, their record in court, and all of the other determining factors that will play a role in your decision.
Hiring Ahead of Time
One of the biggest mistakes that too many startups make is hiring a lawyer when it’s too late. This can put your small business at a big disadvantage. Having an attorney on your side before you’re facing a serious legal matter is crucial for ensuring the success of your startup.
In many cases, you could have avoided that legal matter altogether if you had a reliable attorney working for you to guide you along. A legal advisor is critical for informing you of any potential violations of federal, state, and local laws before you find your product or service or even the company as a whole out of compliance.
Taxes can be another concern for many startups and hiring on the right lawyer from the start can be extremely useful for ensuring that you aren’t taking on excessive liabilities where your tax bill is concerned and, more importantly, you’re paying all of the taxes that are owed in full.
A lawyer can also be essential for ironing out any legal concerns or matters that might come up with respect to partnerships or agreements between the principal parties involved in the enterprise. You might be surprised how often disputes among business partners can sink a startup before it even has a chance to start up.
Most law firms will offer them for free. Take every opportunity to sit down directly with your potential candidates and get a feel for their expertise and capabilities. You must be sure that your attorney has the skills to handle your case with the proper knowledge of the laws that govern your field. This is in addition to knowing your lawyer has the professionalism, discretion, and courtesy that makes him or her easy to work with should you need them to represent you in a court of law.