When you are a small business, every decision is a BIG decision. And, very few decisions are bigger than finding the right lawyer to help counsel your business. Lawyers are not “one size fits all,” so don’t treat your search for a lawyer that way. In other words, you wouldn’t want to hire a family law attorney who dabbles in business or employment law matters.
The right lawyer for your small business must understand your business, entrepreneurial vision, and the culture of your small business. He or she will likely be an attorney who, at minimum, can support your business needs, minimize risks, and protect your human, financial, and intellectual property interests. Such attorneys are often solo practitioners or those who practice in small firms who have “big firm” experience and are, like you, now managing their own firm. Typically, such attorneys will provide a cost savings to you when compared to larger firms.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible attorneys, don’t be afraid to meet face to face with an attorney. Even if you have to pay a consult fee, this initial interview will be worth it. Not only will you be receiving candid legal advice from a lawyer, you will have the opportunity to determine if the lawyer is the right fit for you both strategically and financially. Thus, be sure to inquire about the lawyer’s fees and how he or she can customize their fee structure to meet the present cash flow needs of your business. Lawyers experienced with representing small businesses and entrepreneurs will typically (a) charge reduced rates initially while your business is ramping up and increase his or her fees over time as your business begins to prosper; or (b) offer flat-fee rates.
Over time, your lawyer should be considered like a trusted business partner. You should feel comfortable with sharing confidential information about your business (whether good or bad) with him or her and expect that the lawyer will help you come up with a solution to eliminate or minimize potential legal concerns. For many small businesses and entrepreneurs, eliminating the stress of legal issues associated with necessary business decisions is priceless.
If you or your business needs a small business lawyer, Wilson McCoy, P.A. would welcome the opportunity to meet with you so you can determine if our firm is the right fit for your small business.