Like it or not, America is a litigious society. If you go into business, at a bare minimum, you must understand what the legal risks you face are as well as the various ways that you can mitigate them. Hiring a lawyer can be a big decision, as it can literally make or break your business. To that end, here are three tips that you should know before hiring a lawyer for your business.
Some industries such as medicine or insurance are very likely to face major legal challenges. Others such as retail are far less likely to experience these types of issues. Before determining what type of lawyer to hire and whether or not you need one on retainer, get a better sense of what sort of legal risks you or your industry may face. This can save unneeded costs but also ensure that you’re better prepared for the legal challenges you may face.
When it comes to finding a good attorney, don’t just rely on who has the biggest billboard or flashiest advertisement. Do your own research and ask questions. Google local attorneys and see what their websites say. Check professional databases to ensure that the attorney in question has no ethics complaints that have been ruled against him or her. Ask friends and other business people for personal recommendations, and do a news search for the attorney to see what larger cases he or she may have been involved with. Additionally, you should ask some of the same questions you would ask a personal lawyer. Ask about experience and familiarity with your line of work, and ask if he or she has satisfied clients you can speak with.
Qualifications are more than just making sure that someone has the proper education and certifications; it also means having the experience in the relevant areas of business law and familiarity with the legal players in your area. If you’re unsure of where to find a lawyer, you can always call your local bar association and see who in your area may be qualified in your industry.
Hiring a lawyer is an important decision, one that you should not take lightly. Make sure you’re prepared and that you follow these pieces of advice, and you’ll be well on your way toward protecting your business, your employees, and yourself.
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