A lawyer and an accountant will be essential to every business’s success. A good reason to hire an accountant is to set up your “chart-of-accounts,” review your numbers and prepare all required federal, state, or local tax returns. Hiring a business law attorney may not seem obvious. A good business attorney will help with all aspects of your company, from basic zoning compliance to trademark and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation, lawsuits, liability, and more.
Types of Attorneys
Lawyers are becoming more specialized, just like doctors. An attorney primarily involved in house closings, wills, and other “non-business” issues is likely not a good fit for your business. You will need these skills to be able to do the minimum. The more skills in one human being, then the better!
Contracts. Your lawyer must quickly understand your company, create standard contracts for you with clients, customers, and suppliers, and respond to any other required contracts.
Businesses need to be organized.
The lease of commercial space (offices and retail stores) is a complex matter that must be drafted to the landlord’s satisfaction. These leases are typically “printed forms” and may seem inflexible. You are wrong. You should ask your attorney to prepare a “tenant’s addition” standard that includes provisions that are beneficial to you. This can be added as an attachment to the printed lease document.
Intellectual property. A lawyer who can help you register products or services for copyright and federal trademark protection is an advantage to anyone in a media, design, or creative-type business. These tasks are often performed by specialists who only do “intellectual content” legal work. If your lawyer claims they “specialize in small businesses,” they should maintain a close working relationship with one or more intellectual property specialists.
How to Interview Attorneys?
Are the lawyers you are considering hiring? You can ask any questions that you like about their experience. If you’re certain that you want to incorporate your firm, ask the lawyer if they’ve ever handled one.
Are they well connected? Your lawyer should be a legal “internist,” someone who can diagnose the problem, perform any “minor” surgery, and refer you, if necessary, to other specialists. One lawyer cannot know everything. Your lawyer should be familiar with or have a relationship with someone who is. You don’t have to hunt for a different lawyer each time you encounter a legal issue.
Do they have clients in my sector? Your lawyer should be familiar with your industry’s legal environment. If not, the attorney should be willing to learn the intricacies of the industry. Scan your candidate’s bookshelf for copies of the professional literature and journals you’ve read. But be careful of lawyers representing one or more of the competitors. Although the legal code is required to keep your information confidential, you don’t want to give sensitive information to someone else.
Are YOU a good teacher? Your attorney should take the time with you and your staff to explain the legal environment in which your business operates. So that you can identify potential problems in the future, your lawyer should inform you about the law. The right lawyer will distribute freebies such as newsletters or memoranda describing recent developments in the law. Contact a legal advisor representative today by calling sutliffstout. We will provide a fixed-fee service and a legal quote.