90% of small businesses will become involved in a lawsuit at some point in their lifespan.
Legal trouble can not only set a business back, but it can cause it to fail.
The good news? Many legal problems faced by small businesses are preventable. Hiring a business attorney to make sure all your ducks are in a row before you land in hot water could save your business.
The hardest part is choosing the right attorney. Keep reading for our guide on how to choose a reliable business attorney in Florida to protect your business.
Determine Your Legal Needs
When hiring a business attorney, the first thing you need to do is an assessment of your legal needs.
If you take the time to make a list of what you want from your attorney, your business and your attorney will be on the same page from the start. When you meet with a potential attorney, being able to articulate your needs will make it much easier to determine whether they will be a good fit.
Some examples of legal services that your business might need include:
- Buying and selling business assets
- Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts
- Staying compliant with applicable laws
- Representation in legal matters including lawsuits
- Filing reports with government entities
For some niche businesses, you may want to look for a business lawyer with experience in your specific industry. But many business law firms have diverse experience and can handle a variety of business law matters.
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find a good business attorney is to ask for referrals.
Your professional network is your best resource when it comes to finding business attorney options. Ask colleagues and friends in your industry about their experiences with hiring a business lawyer.
You can also search online for business attorney options in your area. Search engines like Google feature public reviews of law firms. These reviews can give you a good idea about how current and former clients have perceived a business attorney.
You can often find testimonials from a law firm’s clients on their website.
Another way to find a business law firm is to contact your local bar association’s lawyer referral service.
Meet With Prospective Attorneys
Once you have a list of business attorney options, the next step is to meet with them directly.
Most attorneys offer free or low-cost consultations. You can use this opportunity to tell potential attorneys about your needs and expectations as well as ask questions about qualifications.
Ask the Right Questions
Preparing for your consultation with a prospective business attorney can ensure you get the most out of your time.
The best way to prepare for this meeting is to make a list of questions you want to ask and bring it with you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the questions that should make your list.
What is Your Experience in My Industry?
Asking this question can help you get an idea of how qualified a business lawyer is to do work for your particular business.
Have they handled legal matters for a business like yours before? How much experience do they have handling relevant issues for a similar business?
You want to choose a business attorney that has experience with the specific tasks you need help with. This is why it’s so helpful to create a list of your legal needs in preparation for meeting with potential attorneys.
What is Their Track Record and Reputation?
The best way to predict whether you’ll have a good experience with a law firm is to ask about their past results.
Do they have a proven track record of success? What is their reputation within the business community?
It’s always recommended to choose a company with years of experience when hiring for any kind of service. This is especially true in the legal world.
A law firm with a good reputation will be taken more seriously and get better results. You can also trust that their reputation was earned by years of hard work and making sure their clients are satisfied.
Don’t Forget About Logistics
Once you determine that a business attorney is qualified to handle your legal needs, you should iron out the details.
Making sure everyone is on the same page can prevent miscommunications down the line. Be sure to ask how your business will be billed. You should also ask who will be doing the legal work and whether any work will be outsourced.
How will your attorney communicate with you and who can you contact if you have any questions or concerns? You can also ask about their availability and a timeframe for when you can expect to receive a response.
Consider How They Make You Feel
As a business owner or manager, putting your business’s legal matters in someone else’s hands requires trust.
With the right business attorney, you will trust their judgment.
When you evaluate prospective attorneys, consider how they make you feel. You should feel comfortable being honest about your fears, concerns, expectations, hesitations, and everything in between.
Keep in mind that business attorneys are most effective when you have an ongoing relationship with the same firm. When you build a lasting relationship with a business attorney, they will be better able to meet your needs.
Are You Looking to Hire a Business Attorney in Florida?
Hiring an experienced business attorney is one of the best things you can do for your business.
A business attorney will spot potential legal issues before they become bigger problems. And if something does go wrong, they will have your back.
If your business is looking to hire a reputable attorney, we would love to talk to you. Click here to contact us today and schedule a consultation with one of our business attorneys.